“Labour’s latest youth crime policy won’t bring about the change needed for concerned New Zealanders because it is focussed on bureaucratic changes rather than consequences for offenders,” says ACT’s Police spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“Their plan changes how information is shared with Oranga Tamariki and promises to make ‘a plan’ for offenders. The only people who will be affected by it are backroom bureaucrats whose roles might change, while New Zealanders who want to see real change will see nothing.

“Oranga Tamariki is already overwhelmed and there are not enough facilities to deal with these offenders. Sharing information to them in a different way won’t change the end result of what happens to these kids.

“It’s a bit like Pak n Save advertising that they’ve changed how they do the logistics in the warehouse thinking that will attract shoppers, but actually people just want cheaper prices.

“Labour’s solutions ignore the reality of what is actually happening in our communities and don’t match up with the feedback ACT receives when we consult with Youth Aid officers and youth justice facilities.

“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. We would also introduce ankle bracelets for serious youth offenders.

“ACT has led the way on these policies and other parties have since adopted them.

“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.

“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.

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

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Chris Baillie