“With reports that most ramraids are being carried out by the same group of around 80 youth offenders, ankle bracelets are the clearly the best solution,” says ACT’s Police spokesperson and former Youth Aid Police Officer Chris Baillie.

“Nobody wants to see young people incarcerated. Aside from the fact youth justice facilities are full, they are known to be a training ground for worse offending.

“If young offenders have a tracking bracelet, their mates will not want them around and penalties such as staying at home at the weekend and after 5pm could be enforced.

“They can be used to ensure kids are going to school and not associating with other criminals.  It keeps these young offenders out of youth justice facilities, and it means they can be tracked to the scene of a crime.

“Ninety five per cent of youth offenders dealt with by Youth Aid are seen only once, we're talking about the worst 5 per cent of youth offenders.

“One MP described putting kids in ankle bracelets as ‘heartbreaking.” It’s not as heartbreaking as doing nothing and setting them up for a life of crime. It’s not as heartbreaking as shop keepers living in fear.

“ACT proposed ankle bracelets in our Law and Order policy document in August. Ram raids are being carried out by the same, hardened group of young people who face no consequences. They’re too young for prison, they’re known to escape from youth justice facilities, or are sent home to their families where they have a lack of guidance and discipline.

“This is exactly the sort of consequences that Labour should be looking into. Some people will say 11-14 is too young to wear an ankle bracelet. Do those same people say it’s too young to carry out a ram raid? ACT says if you can do the crime, you can cop the punishment.

“Under questioning from the ACT Party in Parliament, the Government has revealed there has been on average one ram raid a day since May 2022, that it's considering our policy of ankle bracelets for youth offenders.

“ACT is happy to meet with Minister Hipkins to brief him on our policy and support him to get it underway as soon as possible. We have received overwhelming support from the community for our policy – it’s time to take action.”

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