The Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro is reacting to National's proposed amendment of the Child, Youth and Family legislation;
“The hype around escalating serious youth offending and alleged public concerns about unsafe communities is not supported by data. The figures have stayed quite steady for the past 10 years."
Well, let's contrast that to what others have to say;
Last year, from the Principal Youth Court Judge;
"Violent offending is increasing. There has always been severe violence, but it is hard to get an accurate picture. We need to have much better statistics from the Ministry of Justice. We need to know [what is happening] early and the extent it's happening."
Judge Becroft said one thing that was known was that violence, especially severe violence, was escalating.
And from a 2007 MSD report;
While there was growth in the young person population, overall offending rates remained static over the same period. In fact, when considered on a per 10,000 of population basis, the ratio of apprehensions to population decreased by over 11%.
However, there were significant increases in violent offending. Apprehensions for violent offending rose by 36.4% over the previous 8 years and charges for violent offending increased by 57.6% between 2000 and 2005. This suggests it is the ferocity, not the frequency of offending which is changing.
And again from 2008, Kim Workman, National Director of Prison Fellowship and new appointment to the Families Commission said;
Yes, there has been a recent rise in the rate of apprehensions for violent offending, particularly serious violent offending. But that increase applies to every age cohort of the population – apart from 10 – 13 year olds.
And finally Family Court Judge Peter Boshier;
Judge Peter Boshier, who has been a judge since 1988, made the politically charged statement at a foster care conference in Hamilton yesterday, where he said he was shocked at what he saw happening in families now compared with what he saw 19 years ago.
"Twelve-year-olds, many of whom are committing quite heavy crimes, need to be more accountable than the present system is able to make them," he said.
Cindy Kiro has diminished the integrity of the role of Children's Commissioner. Yes, she is charged with speaking for children and youth and protecting their rights. But not at the cost of the truth.
June 20 in history
2 hours ago