Young thugs threaten witness
A south Auckland woman who did her civic duty by reporting a theft, has been threatened by a gang of teenage thugs after her name, address and phone number were given to the offender, Labour police spokesperson George Hawkins said today.
"This case is a urgent warning to the police and to the Minister of Police that young offenders are becoming hardened criminals and can pose a serious threat to public safety.
"The woman witnessed a theft at a neighbours home and called the police. Eventually a young offender appeared in the Papakura court, where he obtained a copy of the woman's statement.
"She is now being hounded by a group of young thugs. The threats are serious and very frightening.
"We must ensure that witnesses are protected adequately. This woman should be applauded for her willingness to protect her neighbour's property. But if this type of intimidation is allowed, witnesses to crime won't come forward for fear of retribution.
"The Mongrel Mob drove the Lawton family out of Invercargill, and New Plymouth man Christopher Crean was murdered for giving evidence against gang members. However, the police and the Government must not only focus on adult gangs.
"This alarming south Auckland case is a warning that New Zealand's exploding youth crime problem must be urgently addressed," George Hawkins said.