Government Action on Youth Crime making a difference

Children Police Social Development and Employment
  • 82 Percent of children referred to Kotahi te Whakaaro programme have not reoffended
  • 65 percent fall in Ram Raids over six months

In the six months following the announcement of the Government’s Better Pathways package, most children are not reoffending and ram raids have dropped significantly.

“Of the 147 children engaged in the Government’s Kotahi te Whakaaro programme only 27 have reoffended,” Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said.

“The programme has also supported 373 siblings and wider family members, ensuring we are turning the lives around of some of our most vulnerable young people. 

“Alongside these actions we have seen a drop in the number of reported ram raid incidents.  In August 2022, there were 116 reported ram raids.  Six months after the expansion of Kotahi te Whakaaro there were 40.

“We know that victims of ram raids and the general public want to see that number fall even further, and we are committed helping offenders turn their lives around as well as support victims and shop owners to ensure they receive the help they need to recover from these crimes,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Alongside Kotahi te Whakaaro’s expansion the Government announced the introduction of a ‘Circuit Breaker’ to make sure younger recidivist offenders had a fast tracked intervention to prevent further crime.

“Our circuit breaker initiative is working,” Minister for Children Kelvin Davis said.

“The programme has dealt with 84 children and of those 67 have not reoffended. This is through an approach that ensured almost all children had an initial plan to stop offending agreed within 24 hours.

“We have found the vast majority of offenders have a family history of violence and harm, and wrapping support around the entire whānau is the only way to break the cycle of crime.

“Locking up children under the age of 15 does not work in the overwhelming number of cases, it just creates more hardened criminals who will reoffend once they are released from custody.  We need intensive interventions that address the causes of offending and what we are doing is working,”

Alongside these initiatives the Government continues to roll out prevention measures for small businesses.

“As at 29 March 2,352 security interventions have been approved through the Retail Crime Prevention Programme, with 810 interventions completed so far,” Police Minister Ginny Andersen said.

“As at 4 April, through the Fog Cannon Subsidy Scheme, 269 fog cannons have been installed in small businesses with 185 more installations booked. Of those that have been installed, 157 are in dairy’s or convenience stores, 36 are in bottles stores and 17 are in service stations.

“Youth crime has been trending down for 10 years. We have then seen a spike since the pandemic – that’s why we’ve taken action. The drop in Ram Raids shows that our approach is working. Police are using their improved resources to target the offenders, get them into the support systems provided by our social services and stop more crimes from occurring.

Kotahi te Whaakaro numbers as at 31 March

  • 147 total tamariki supported overall
  • 27 (18%) tamariki have reoffended at least once
  • 373 siblings or wider whānau members supported
  • 64 tamariki and whānau actively worked with
  • 129 (88%) tamariki exposed to family harm.

Circuit Breaker initiative as at 24 March

  • Between 16 December-24 February, 84 children were referred to the programme.
  • Almost all children had an initial plan developed within 24 hours
  • Almost 90% of children had plans fully agreed within 48 hours
  • Of the 84 children referred, 67 have not been re-referred.

Fog Cannon Subsidy Scheme as at 21 March

  • 117 installations complete
  • 639 Applications approved
  • 231 installations booked
  • 16 applications in progress
  • 49 applications declined

Ram Raid Data

  • More information on Ram Raid data is available here.