Youth in court down 61 per cent since 2007/08

  • Amy Adams
Justice Courts

Policies to tackle youth crime are succeeding with the number of children and young people appearing in New Zealand’s courts dropping by more than 60 percent since 2007/8, Justice Minister Amy Adams says.

In the 2007/08 financial year, 4998 children and young people (10-16 year olds) appeared in youth courts. By the 2014/15 financial year, this had dropped by almost 61 per cent to 1959.

Ms Adams says the Government remains committed to driving down youth crime.

“Our approach has always been to ensure that whenever a child or young person gets into difficulty that we work with them, their family and whānau to ensure behaviour doesn’t escalate into more serious offending.

“The vast majority of children and young people who are stopped by the Police are supported by Youth Aid officers, Family Group Conferences and other means designed to prevent them from offending again.”

Ms Adams says the Youth Crime Action Plan underpinned a concerted effort to address offending by children and young people.

“The Plan is a 10 year strategy to 2023, to reduce crime committed by young people and help those who do offend to turn their lives around,” Ms Adams says.

“Government agencies are working with communities in more than 30 locations to develop and implement local plans to create solutions to their youth offending problems. The plan is about empowering local communities, youth services and voluntary agencies that are working with young people.”