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Drivers of Crime a whole-of-government priority

Hon Simon Power
Minister of Justice

Hon Pita Sharples
Minister of Maori Affairs


17 December 2009 Media Statement

Drivers of Crime a whole-of-government priority
The Government is to make addressing the drivers of crime a whole-of-government priority, Justice Minister Simon Power and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples announced today.

The Ministers said Cabinet had agreed to the approach, which will have an initial focus on four priority areas:

• Antenatal, maternity, and early parenting support.
• Programmes to address behavioural problems in young children.
• Reducing the harm caused by alcohol.
• Alternative approaches to managing low-level offenders, and offering pathways out of offending.

The focus across these areas is on improving services for those at risk of being the offenders or victims of the future, and their families. Addressing the drivers of crime for Maori will be a priority in all aspects of the work.

The announcement follows a Ministerial Meeting on the Drivers of Crime in April, hosted by the Ministers.

Mr Power said there was broad agreement from the meeting that the drivers of crime are complex, social, inter-generational, and require early intervention.

"Though responsibility for reducing crime sits with justice-sector agencies, many of the tools to address the drivers of crime are in other sectors, such as health, education, parenting support, housing, recreation, and economic, social and community development.

"The focus will be on improving outcomes by tackling fragmentation, ensuring ministerial and chief executive co-ordination and leadership of the work programme, improving value for money, and improving the relationship between government and the community."

Dr Sharples said it was crucial that support for whanau Maori be appropriate, including government agencies' support for Maori designed, developed and delivered initiatives.

“Far too many Maori end up in our youth justice and prison facilities, wasting the most productive years of their lives. Far too many Maori are victims of crime. And far too many Maori children grow up in households and communities disrupted by crime and punishment.

"Anything we can do to promote Maori control over their own destiny, community strength and resilience, and pro-social behaviour by Maori will reduce crime overall, and help improve the social and economic position of Maori in the long term.”

Mr Power said the factors that drive crime also contribute to other negative outcomes, such as being a victim of crime, poor health, early school leaving, and unemployment.

"This means efforts to reduce crime cannot be pursued separately from efforts to address other social harms, but need to be part of a co-ordinated response across sectors.

"Several other Ministers are already leading work that could make a significant contribution to addressing the drivers of crime.

"Dr Sharples and I look forward to working with them, and with community groups, to achieve change that will have wide-ranging benefits across our portfolios."

Further information is available here.
[Scoop copy: Drivers_of_Crime_background_paper.doc]

ENDS

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