A rare time the Police Association and I are on the same page

The Police Association says an overwhelming majority of frontline officers are against raising the youth court age.

It follows calls to include 17-year-old offenders in the Youth Court, rather than facing a judge in the adult system.

Offenders under 17 are dealt with in the Youth Court, and often escape prison sentences.

“The youth court is highly effective,” says Tessa Lynch. “It’s got expertise with dealing with the causes of offending; it’s got expert, specialised staff.”

Many say intervention and rehabilitation is more effective than putting our teenage criminals behind bars.

But the Police Association told The Nation three quarters of its members, and more than half of youth aid workers, are against raising the Youth Court age to include 17-year-olds.

“It’s pretty much based on a 100 percent belief that we won’t be able to resource it,” says Police Association president Greg O’Connor.

A shop assistant, Jordan Byrt, doesn’t want the rules to change either.

“I think it’s pretty stupid, because if you’re over 16, at that point you should be going to a normal judge and going to an adult court and dealing with the justice system that way. By the time you’re 16 you’re allowed to do many things that adults can already do,” he says.

Mr Byrt was pushed to the ground by an axe-wielding teen during a robbery at an electronics store on Auckland’s North Shore earlier this month.

The offender was one of six to ransack the shop, and all were under 17.

“I’m just disappointed in the fact that they’ll just get a slap on the wrist, a couple of hours’ community service, and then they’re back on the streets again,” says Mr Byrt.

The Police Association says gangs are already “working the system” by using young teenagers to commit crimes, and believes that’ll only get worse.

As I’ve been advocating here for some time, adult crimes should have adult consequences.

One of the other ways to nip this in the bud is to introduce a Three Strikes law for minor crimes as well.  Once you are convicted for the third time, the maximum sentence for your conviction must apply.

That would sort the men from the boys.


– Newshub

Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.