28 November 2006
Violent Youths Mocking The System - Mark
New Zealand First law and order spokesperson Ron Mark says that it is time for those ardent evangelists who continue to
preach the merits of the current youth justice system to wake up to what is really happening on our streets.
Mr Mark’s comments follow a spate of particularly vicious violent crimes committed by young offenders, including
separate attacks which left one elderly man fighting for his life and another seriously injured after both approached
youths who were smashing their letterboxes.
“Every week we see terrible examples of violent crime committed by young people,” said Mr Mark.
“The time has come for action. We don’t need more reports commissioned or surveys done - the solution to this scourge
lies with a combination of early intervention and effective deterrents.
“Young thugs must be held accountable for their actions. Early intervention is crucial if we are to prevent them
becoming serious offenders for life, and that’s why New Zealanders must support my member’s bill which seeks to reduce
the age of criminal responsibility to 12 for serious offences.
“We don’t want to throw youth offenders in jail; we just want them to know that there are going to be consequences if
they want to go down the path of a life of crime. We want the police to have the respect they deserve and the tools
available in practice to deal with youth offenders, who are currently laughing at the system because they know the
police have little power to do anything to them.
“I know there are plenty of bleeding hearts out there who disagree with my stance but my message to them is simple: stop
ignoring the facts. Serious violent offending committed by young people is on the increase and the current youth justice
system is failing to prevent their graduation into career criminals,” said Mr Mark.