New Youth Gang Runs Amok In Palmerston North

The formation of a new youth gang in Palmerston North shows the current youth justice system is failing and its time for a radical overhaul, says Darroch Ball New Zealand First List MP based in Palmerston North.

“The recent spate of dairy and liquor store robberies by young offenders shows that the ‘cotton wool’ approach does not deter youth from committing crime over and over again.

“Many youth commit crimes, including aggravated robberies of dairies, while they face charges for similar offending.

“They are young thugs and must be stopped and held accountable for their actions.

“The ‘cotton wool’ approach is not working.

“More than 80% of youth offenders do not appear in a formal court. This ‘cotton wool’ approach is not working.

“Police need a bigger stick to use against youth who persistently reoffend. They are running amok.

“New Zealand First’s 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 - even if it’s their first offence, 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.

“The Demerit Points System will end reoffending by youth who often get away with their crimes with few or no consequences.

“Palmerston North residents are sick and tired of feeling unsafe in our community because of a failing youth justice system. New Zealand First has a solution that will fix it.”