“Labour’s plan to “drive down youth crime” will fail because it doesn’t introduce a single consequence for youth offenders. ACT would introduce ankle bracelets for serious youth offenders,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The government’s answer is to extend policies they already have in place. Do they really think that ram raids will stop by extending a few programmes that already exist? If extending existing programs could only be the answer if Government caused ram raids by underfunding youth interventions.

“The press release reads like a grab bag of reheated policy. One programme, He Pou Rangatahi closed to applications for providers on August 26, does this mean they are reopening, announcing what they've already done, or increasing the funding per provider?

“Tackling serious youth offending needs new solutions, innovation and, most importantly, consequences for offenders. ACT has already announced instant, practical penalties for young people caught shoplifting, stopping rookie offenders before they escalate to more serious offending.

“Today we’re proposing ankle bracelets for youth offenders who carry out serious offences.

“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.

“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.

“Ankle bracelets are non-intrusive and allow the police to know where they are at all times.

“It is an easy way to enforce curfew, to make sure kids are at school and to separate young offenders.

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

“This is a simple and effective way to make kids think twice before offending and to break the habit. It sends the message our community does not accept this behaviour. It is not glamorous, it brings shame.

“The government’s plan of extending NCEA courses, when we already have free education for kids up to 19 won’t help serious, violent offending.

“It’s time the government got real about youth crime. ACT’s plan would see real change.”

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