Youth crime package is more window dressing

After nearly five years of inaction, the Labour Government is now scrambling to deal with an out of control law and order problem in New Zealand, National’s Justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“Today’s announcement of another programme to ‘discourage’ youth offending is more window-dressing from a Government that has no answers.

“The announcement says nothing about imposing meaningful consequences on serious recidivist youth offenders who the Government have been told are not being effectively dealt with by officials.

“Labour has completely failed to deal with the social drivers of crime – truancy is skyrocketing, and thousands of at-risk youth are living in motels.

“A culture of excuses and weak messages has allowed a new generation of youth offenders to act with impunity.

“Ram raids have increased by more than 500 per cent in the past five years, with a quarter being repeat offenders.

“Most ram raiders aren’t being caught by Police and if they aren’t being caught they can’t be given ‘wraparound services’.

“Once again, victims are not at the heart of Labour’s announcement. More support has been announced for offenders, while victims are still at the back of the queue.

“National will deal more effectively with the social drivers of crime, such as truancy, and we will ensure that the most serious repeat offenders do face consequences for their actions.”