Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


MP’s Comments on Youth Offending Misleading

MP’s Comments on Youth Offending Misleading

Ron Mark’s press release on youth violence is misleading, says Kim Workman, Project Leader, Rethinking Crime and Punishment. He was referring to Ron Mark’s comments about the serious assaults by four offenders on North Shore, one of whom was 16 years old.

“Mr Mark states that if the 16 year old goes to the Youth Court, his sentence will bear no proportion to the severity of the offending or his past record.”

“That is not correct. Currently, the Youth Court can convict and transfer to the District Court any 14 – 16 year old who commits an indictable offence – which may very well be the case here. Judges send around 60 young people to prison every year, and Youth Court Judges send a further 260 to youth justice residences.

“Mr Mark also claims that the government's proposal to extend the definition of a 'youth' upwards from 17 to anyone under 18 will simply allow even more teen thugs to avoid the serious consequences of their crimes," said Mr Mark.”

“That is also incorrect. Under the proposed legislation, 17 year olds will be able to be convicted and transferred to the District Court for sentence in response to any kind of significant offending – not just indictable offences.”

“If we are going to have an informed debate on law and order issues, politicians need to serve up their opinions within the framework of existing or proposed legislation. Otherwise, they seriously mislead the public.”

“The bottom line is that current legislation directs the Courts and everyone else involved in the youth justice system to ensure that young people are held accountable and encouraged to accept responsibility for their behaviour.”

The idea that serious assaults of this kind are dealt with in a lenient way just doesn’t hold water.

“Mr Mark also claims that violent youth offending by street gangs is reaching epidemic proportions. We need to get that into perspective. Yes, there has been a recent rise in the rate of apprehensions for violent offending, particularly serious violent offending. But that increase applies to every age cohort of the population – apart from 10 – 13 year olds. For this important group, (it is the flow into the Youth Court), apprehension rates for violence decreased.”

“Overall, the rate of Police apprehensions of under 17 year olds decreased last year.

As a nation we must resist being driven by political agenda into a state of moral panic.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On DHB Deficits And Free Trade

Currently the world is looking on aghast at the Trump administration’s plans to slash Obamacare, mainly in order to finance massive tax changes that will deliver most of their gains to the wealthy. Lives will be lost in the trade-off. Millions of Americans stand to lose access to the healthcare they need.

Spot the difference with New Zealand, where DHBs are under intense pressure to reduce deficits within a climate of chronic underfunding. More>>


Greens' Response: Slum-Like Rentals Exposed In Renting Review

“...The grim findings of the review are a wakeup call about the true state of rentals in this country. Too many renters are festering in slum-like conditions under the thumb of landlords who have largely unchecked powers and ignore tenants’ complaints when it suits them.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election