New Zealand First is proposing a radical overhaul of the youth justice system in a new member’s bill which will introduce a demerit points system for youth offenders.
“This type of demerit points system structure will outline stricter enforcement measures similar to what is effectively used with traffic offences,” says Social Development Spokesperson Darroch Ball.
“In the current youth justice system large numbers of youth think they can get away scot-free and face few, if any, real consequences – our new demerit points system will combat that.
“There will be tiered levels of consequences depending on the type of crime and the number of demerit points accrued.
“The bill will make sure youth offenders are held to account for their actions swiftly and early. It identifies those who need guidance sooner and provides them with support.
“It also gives ‘one-time offenders’ an opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
“Police will no longer have one hand tied behind their backs when dealing with these persistent and serious offenders, and they will avoid the ‘catch and release’ scenarios that currently frustrate them,” says Mr Ball.