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JustSpeak Exposes Variation in Youth Prosecution Rates

JustSpeak Exposes Variation in Youth Prosecution Rates

8 April 2013

“Today JustSpeak releases an infographic showing the rate of young people being prosecuted for various crimes. JustSpeak asks ‘please explain’ to the Government, and will be looking closely at how it plans to address these statistics in the Government’s upcoming Youth Crime Action Plan.”

“JustSpeak’s graphic and post shows the proportion of youth and child police apprehensions leading to prosecution in 2011, broken down by offence type. This information is sourced from New Zealand Police Statistics.”

“For every offence category other than one, Māori have a higher proportion of apprehensions leading to prosecution.”

Some further findings for 10- to 16-year-olds:

• The offence second-most-likely to result in prosecution is “offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations” – a category more likely to lead to prosecution than acts intended to cause injury;
• There are very few homicide or related offences for young offenders – only three cases in 2011;
• Theft is the most common youth offence;
• Of the 3495 theft apprehensions recorded as Caucasian, there were 588 prosecutions. For Māori, of the 5660 apprehensions recorded, 1173 resulted in prosecution (16.8% vs. 20.7%.).

“We don’t know the seriousness or details of each crime recorded, but a picture emerges with some surprises. To the Government we ask ‘please explain’.”

“When the Government releases its Youth Crime Action Plan later this year, JustSpeak will be looking closely for how the Government plans to address these sometimes surprising outcomes for young people.”

JustSpeak’s graphic and accompanying blog post can be accessed at www.justspeak.org.nz.

Prosecution vs. total apprehension numbers for 10- to 16-year-olds, 2011:

Homicide and related offences0 out of 12 out of 2
Acts intended to cause injury290 out of 1415497 out of 1876
Sexual assault and related offences54 out of 15941 out of 89
Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons1 out of 116 out of 13
Abduction, harassment and other related offences against a person66 out of 425101 out of 429
Robbery, extortion and related offences42 out of 73195 out of 302
Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter317 out of 9541295 out of 2944
Theft and related offences588 out of 34951173 out of 5660
Fraud, deception and related offences49 out of 22932 out of 111
Illicit drug offences117 out of 768107 out of 643
Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences57 out of 297119 out of 424
Property damage and environmental pollution382 out of 1913581 out of 2690
Public order offences183 out of 1728370 out of 2412
Offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations82 out of 186204 out of 382
Miscellaneous offences4 out of 322 out of 26


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