Latest figures showing that the youth offending rate more than halved over National’s time in office prove that National was on the right track and the new Government’s softer policies will risk undoing the good work, National’s Justice Spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.
“In his first statement on youth justice today, Associate Justice Minister Aupito William Sio celebrated the significant drop in youth offending achieved under the National Government.
“Between 2009/10 and 2016/17, offending for children aged 10-13 years dropped by 59 per cent, while offending by young people aged 12-14 years fell by 63 per cent.
“That’s a result of National’s huge focus on tackling youth offending. Initiatives like the Youth Crime Action Plan, our social investment approach, and the roll out of the Rangatahi Courts have had a real impact.
“Early results have shown that young people who attend Rangatahi Courts committed 14 per cent fewer offences and were 11 per cent less likely to commit a new serious offence in the following year than comparable youth.
“National’s plan was working, so it’s concerning to hear statements from the Ardern-Peters Government indicating that it wants to go soft on crime.
“We know that there is still a small group of young offenders who are much harder to crack. That’s why we announced a policy during the campaign to introduce a new category of Young Serious Offenders and greater powers for courts to deal with those offenders.
“The challenge for the new Government will be to not only tackle offending by this very serious group of young criminals, but to ensure that the overall youth offending rate continues to trend down.”