Police Youth Aid Numbers Must Be Guaranteed

The Police Association’s demand for increased number of Youth Aid Officers must be guaranteed by National if they are to cope with an increase in the Youth Court age, says New Zealand First.


“There aren’t enough Youth Aid Officers out there now and to add more young people to the system without addressing this is a recipe for disaster,” says New Zealand First Spokesperson for Social Development, Darroch Ball.


“If National proceeds with this legislation, it will without a doubt have an impact on the workload of these officers who are already stretched thanks to our dysfunctional Youth Justice system.


“More officers are needed to cope with the fallout of the proposed age increase, it’s as simple as that.


“The Police Association made it clear to Parliament’s Social Services Select Committee on Wednesday when it said that reoffending rates would increase if they proceeded with the changes before additional resources were in place.


“New Zealand First expects to see a commitment from National to have a minimum of 100 extra Police Youth Aid Officers in place before any changes in the Youth Justice system take place,” says Mr Ball.