INDEPENDENT NEWS

Joint Patrols Would Help Reduce Youth Offending

Published: Mon 12 Jul 1999 04:22 PM
Media Statement By
Tony Ryall
Minister of Justice
12 July, 1999
Joint Patrols Idea Would Help Reduce Youth Offending
Justice Minister, Tony Ryall, has told the inaugural Waikato Police Conference on Maori Development that National's plan to invite the Police to consider joint patrols with probation and CYPS officers would help reduce youth offending.
The proposal is part of a new youth justice plan being developed by National, and announced by Tony Ryall at the National Party Annual Conference in Wellington last weekend.
"On the weekend I outlined a new plan National is working on to save a generation of young people from a life of crime", said Mr Ryall.
"It is plan about the positive ways we can help young people and their families to break the cycle of crime.
"Our plan is not only about taking tough actions, it is also about the need for young people to learn respect, discipline and responsibility.
"As we have developed the plan it has become increasingly apparent that cooperation and coordination between agencies is essential to successfully save repeat young offenders from a life of crime.
"We’ve seen real benefits in the justice team of ministers working across portfolio boundaries.
"Now National wants to invite the Police and other agencies, like CYPS and probation officers, to join together in night patrols.
"New Zealanders are concerned about young people out on the streets at night. These young people sometimes form intimidating groups perhaps under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"In parts of the United States, the Police have approached the issue by bring together the agencies who regularly deal with young people and having them patrol together.
"Often a social worker or a probation officer will be more aware of the issues in a young person's life than the Police.
"By having CYPS and probation officers right there in the car, young people, already known to one or more agencies, can be dealt with on the spot.
"Many of these young people are looking for boundaries. We will help set these boundaries.
"By doing so these young people will see that someone cares about them, and that their futures are important to us.
"The reason the Government is having to do this is because other people in these kids lives have failed them.
"Our approach to juvenile crime will emphasize personal responsibility.
"To save a generation of young people, we must send the message back to our homes, neighbourhoods and schools that if you break the law you will be held responsible for your actions.
"National will give judges and the Police more powers and options to deal with repeat young offenders. We are investigating:
- Electronic Monitoring Of Serious Young Offenders;
- Giving Judges The Power To Alert Parents To Their Responsibilities;
- Increasing Access To Juvenile Records For All Court Types;
- Expanding The "Youth At Risk" Initiatives That Focus On Persistent And Serious Young Offenders;
- Clarifying The Retention Of Identification Evidence From Young Offenders;
- Longer Supervision Orders;
- Target Truancy; and,
- Inviting The Police To Start Joint Patrols With Probation And CYPS Officers.
"It was pleasing to see that over the weekend Chief Family Court Judge, Patrick Mahoney, Chief Youth Court Judge, David Carruthers, and the Youth Law Project all expressed general support for parts of our plan", said Mr Ryall.
ENDS

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