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Retailers Concerned Over Youth Offending In HB

Retailers Voice Concern Over Youth Offending In Hawkes Bay

Patricia Schnauer ACT Spokesman for Justice today said that her visit to Hawkes Bay had highlighted the community's serious concerns about youth offending.

"Many of the 200 retailers I have visited in the Taradale and Napier area have told me of the high number of burglaries being committed by young people in the community. Tougher measures are needed to curb this trend," said Mrs Schnauer.

"Security cameras in the main streets are a good start, but other measures are also required.

"The age of criminal responsibility should be lowered and The Children Young Persons & Their Families Act needs to be strengthened to give Police more powers to deal with young offenders, particularly the follow up procedures to Family Group Conferences.

"A "zero tolerance" approach to youth offending is needed. This means that young people must be made to understand the consequences of their behaviour and that anti-social conduct will not be tolerated by the community.

"We have to stop young offenders from graduating to serious crime and put them back on the right track.

"Zero Tolerance involves cracking down on "petty" crime such as vandalism, graffiti and shoplifting, before those crimes lead to more serious offending. Police should be more directly responsible for reducing crime in their own areas.

"I believe the police should have legal powers to impose curfews where necessary. Funding through the Crime Prevention Unit need to be increased to enable positive programmes to be put in place for dealing with delinquent youths," said Patricia Schnauer.

ENDS




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