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National should be tackling causes of poverty, not boot camp

National should be tackling causes of poverty, not boot camp gimmicks

Troubled young people need to know they've got a real chance in life, not thrown into pointless boot camps as the National Party is promising to do, says Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little.

"Fixing our chronic homelessness problem, sorting out our schools and giving young people meaningful work, like Labour's Ready for Work policy will do, is the stuff that reduces youth offending.

“National’s policy is simply a desperate headline-grabbing response to a problem the Government has created through their underfunding of Police for nine years.

“Boot camps and infringement notices for parents are simply draconian and counterproductive. They won’t make a difference. They are punishing parents when what we need are new ways of intervening early on with families who have challenging situations.

“"These sorts of programmes don't work. They just turn young criminals into fit young criminals.

“There are far better ways to tackle youth crime than boot camps, which National knows simply failed to stop youth reoffending. Going to Waiouru for a year doesn’t fix family poverty, poor education and other problems which lead to youth crime.

“We need to tackle the root causes. Under National, poverty and homelessness have risen dramatically. Real wages have fallen. Families are under increasing pressure.

“Labour has a plan to help vulnerable families through our expansion of Working for Families. We will tackle poverty because often that’s what turns young people to crime. Our mental health strategy, which includes placing a nurse in every secondary school, will also help at risk youth.

“Labour will also properly fund Police by recruiting 1000 more officers to keep our communities safe,” says Andrew Little.

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