“One fifth of bail checks on youth criminals are resulting in breaches of conditions, the reason New Zealand is experiencing a youth crime wave is because offenders don’t think there are any consequences,” says ACT’s Police spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“Responses to Written Parliamentary Questions asked by ACT show there have been 4,721 cases of non-compliance in the past year, which equates to 21.6 per cent of bail checks.

“The Government admits there is a problem with youth crime, but what are they actually doing about it? More than one fifth of the offenders who have been checked up on are caught ignoring their conditions.

“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.

“Police Minister Chris Hipkins has said in Parliament the Government was considering the adoption of ACT’s ankle bracelets for youth offenders policy. He needs to implement this now.

“If young offenders have a tracking bracelet, 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.

“It’s time we sent a message to New Zealand that crime leads to consequences. If you’re willing to take part in rehabilitation you will be given another chance but most importantly victims must be at the heart of the justice system.

“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.”

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Chris Baillie