More Northland Police Needed Now: Not Over Four Years
The epidemic of youth crime hitting Northland was spawned by National failing to put enough police on the ground, says New Zealand First.
“These young offenders know when police are not out and about,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“Sixty-six police over four years as promised by Police Minister Paula Bennett will do little. We’ve had eight years of growing crime while National put a freeze on police funds.
“In recent days there’s been the robbery of a Moerewa butcher’s shop and the vicious bashing of an elderly vintage railway volunteer in Kawakawa.
“These youth do not care, their robbery has almost crippled a small business and they bashed a 78-year-old man.
“Youth know there’s little chance of being caught because there are next to no police on duty to catch them.
“Even if caught, these young crims know they’ll get off lightly. More than 80% of youth offenders do not appear in a formal court.
“The same thing is happening around the country. In Dunedin, there was a robbery of a dairy at Halfway Bush and every day of the week dairies and liquor stores are being held up and robbed.
“New Zealand First has made a firm pledge to train 1800 more police as soon as possible to combat this lawlessness with 24 hours a day, seven days a week policing,” says Mr Peters.
“New Zealand First Social Development Spokesperson Darroch Ball today lodged a bill in the members’ ballot that will end the ‘cotton wool’ approach to repeat offending.
“The Youth Justice System Demerit Point System Bill is now in the Members’ Bill ballot.
“The Bill will ensure young offenders come before a judge for serious offences, and only have one chance in front of a Youth Court Judge. Any level of offending subsequent to a Youth Court appearance will mean direct referral to a District Court,” says Mr Peters.