Ram-raids are out of control

Police and retail shop owners are facing an escalation of youth offending as ram-raids continue to damage businesses, National’s Police spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.

“Police are under increasing pressure to deal with youth offenders who are responsible for a staggering 88 per cent of ram-raid incidents and contributing to a 31 per cent increase in retail crime.

“The ram-raids are creating even more financial and emotional stress for business owners and their employees who are trying to recover from Covid restrictions. 

“Shop owners and front line Police officers are having to deal with the frustration of seeing an apparent lack of consequences for violent youth offenders.

“The Youth Justice System seem unable to respond with the growing number of youth offenders so Police, shop keepers and the wider public are paying a high price by dealing with  repeat violent youth offending. 

“Since the Police changed their pursuit policy in 2020, there has been a steep increase in failing to stop for Police incidents. Offenders have realised they can steal a car or flee the scene of a crime without the risk of being pursued or stopped by the Police.

“As a result of this Governments soft on crime approach, youth offenders, gang members and organised crime groups behave as if they can act with impunity. This has created a violent crime wave in New Zealand which puts our Police and the community they protect in more danger.”