INDEPENDENT NEWS

“Tut-tut” sentencing laws fail again

Published: Wed 18 Dec 2002 09:41 AM
“Tut-tut” sentencing laws fail again
The case of a Christchurch ‘one-man crime wave’ thumbing his nose at a prison sentence is yet another example of the loophole-ridden Sentencing and Parole Act, says National’s Police spokesman, Tony Ryall.
“Here’s a 16-year-old with 50 new charges on top of 31 previous convictions laughing at a judge who hasn’t got the power to send him to jail. There’s no wonder judges are frustrated by this new sentencing regime.
“What the Government needs to realise is that not every 16-year-old offender is innocent and misguided. There are hard-core young crooks out there who need firmer treatment.
“This teenager has already been through the “tut-tut, now-now-then” approach of family group conferences and the Youth Court. The fact that these haven’t worked shows we need reform of the youth justice system, and that judges need more powers to deal with hard-core repeat offenders. “The law was supposed to be the Government’s answer to a get-tough policy on crime. All it’s delivered is a free pass to out-of control young crims and confusion in our courts.
“New Zealanders have a right to feel cheated because the Government’s simply ignoring youth crime,” says Mr Ryall.

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