First Step To Stopping Youth Crime In Northland - More Police

The first step to cutting crime in Kaikohe, where youth have been on yet another rampage, is to boost the police strength, says New Zealand First Leader Northland MP and Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“The thin blue line has been broken by this government – once we have it restored, and identify the culprits, a serious focus must go on the families involved.

“The youth justice age should not have been raised, as National did last year. The offenders should be taking responsibility for their action.

“We revealed last year that of Northland’s 22stations, only seven had more than a single officer on continuous duty over four consecutive Fridays and Saturdays.

So for Northland, a vast area of New Zealand with some 156,000 people, we could only average 43 police on duty at 7am and again at 11pm.  At one occasion it peaked at 67, but on another, it was only 17 on duty.

“Around the country there were 208 ‘ghost’ stations where there was not one officer on over those four weekends.

“Since 2008, reported criminal offences in Northland have leapt 66% from 11,593 in 2008 to over 19,274 last year.  Yet over the same time arrests fell from 3,144 in 2008, to 2,735 in 2015.

“Additional police data lays bare the truth about National’s police neglect that is being replicated all over provincial New Zealand.  In Northland it is so bad that burglars stand a 97% chance of getting away with it in Northland and we must ask how many serious crimes are going unreported.

“We need more police working in our communities and not just the large towns.

“New Zealand First is committed to doing just that with 1800 extra police as soon as they can be trained,” says Mr Peters.