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Young Māori offending down 32 per cent

Young Māori offending down 32 per cent

The Government’s Drivers of Crime programme continues to make excellent progress in reducing offending and supporting victims, a new progress report released today by Justice Minister Judith Collins and Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples shows.

Launched in December 2009, Drivers of Crime coordinates the crime prevention work of the justice and social sector agencies to tackle the underlying causes of crime.

“Reducing crime by addressing the underlying causes of crime is a challenging task to take on because the causes are multiple, inter-related and intergenerational,” Ms Collins says.

“By coordinating efforts across agencies, Drivers of Crime is delivering on this Government’s commitment to addressing complex, long-standing problems with an emphasis on reducing Māori offending and victimisation.”

The latest report shows:

· offending rates for Māori youth between 2008 and 2012 are down 32 per cent

· the rate of preventable hospitalisations for Māori and Pacific children aged under 5 from the most deprived areas is down 22 per cent and 17 per cent respectively from 2006/07 to 2011/12

· the proportion of Māori children from the poorest neighbourhoods who had not received any early childhood education before starting school reduced by 17 per cent since 2006

· 47 per cent of Māori and 63 per cent of Pacific school leavers from disadvantaged schools attained at least NCEA Level 2 in 2011, compared with only 25 per cent of Māori and 37 per cent of Pacific leavers in 2005

· Alcohol and other drug treatment was imposed as a condition of sentence in 13.1 per cent (12,019) of imprisonable offence cases in 2012, compared to 6.1 per cent (5,199) of cases in 2006

Key Drivers of Crime programmes in the past 12 months included the $10 million package of initiatives to improve access to alcohol and drug assessment and treatment for offenders – including the launch of two Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts in the Auckland region in November 2012.

Improvements have also been made to reintegration services for low-level offenders before and after release from prison through greater collaboration between agencies and with employers, and two Whare Oranga Ake reintegration units.

Ms Collins and Dr Sharples say the latest report shows real improvements in the communities most affected by crime and the factors that cause it, but there are still improvements to be made.

“Challenges still remain in helping people on the fringes, such as hard-to-reach whanau, but these successes prove that well-coordinated, real-world based programmes can make a difference,” Dr Sharples says.

Ms Collins and Dr Sharples say the programme’s unique cross-agency, long-term approach to crime prevention is making an important contribution towards the Government’s wider efforts, including the Better Public Services’ goals of reducing crime and reoffending.

“The Drivers of Crime strategy is making excellent progress thanks to the efforts of a range of people, agencies and organisations. We thank them for their hard work and dedication,” both Ministers say.

The programme is currently being refreshed to focus more strongly on improving outcomes for Māori and youth. This will include the promotion of locally-based initiatives to reduce offending.

The Drivers of Crime progress report can be viewed at

http://www.justice.govt.nz/justice-sector/drivers-of-crime/publications-and-background-information/addressing-the-drivers-of-crime-progress-report-december-2012

ENDS


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