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Wave of Youth Crime Will Worsen

Darroch Ball

Youth Affairs Spokesperson
14 JULY 2017

Wave of Youth Crime Will Worsen

Treating young offenders with kid gloves will lead to disaster, says New Zealand First.

“The number of young offenders who have never been punished for their crime is growing in every town. There’s been a surge in youth crime and it will only get worse,” says New Zealand First Spokesperson for Youth Darroch Ball.

“They commit crimes over and over again, knowing they’ll get off scot free.

“With 85 per cent of all youth being dealt solely through police diversion, only a small fraction of offenders actually stand in front of a judge. Only 15 out of 258 serious cases heard in Youth Court last year were transferred to the District Court.

“National changed the way the ‘youth crime rate’ was measured in 2014 and it no longer includes offences, apprehensions or arrests. It only counts the minority of the highly recidivist young offenders who finally enter the court system.

“There has been a spike in serious offending by teens and a corresponding dip in convictions.

“The system is simply not holding young offenders to account.

“New Zealand First will overhaul the youth justice system so that every young offender is held to account right from the first offence.

“It’s about accountability, individual responsibility, and consistency of consequences, something the system simply does not have,” says Mr Ball.


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