Government announces intervention programme targeting repeat youth offending

Children's Minister Kelvin Davis has announced a new plan aimed at preventing youth crime.
Children's Minister Kelvin Davis has announced a new plan aimed at preventing youth crime. Photo credit: Newshub

A youth intervention programme has been launched to steer young people away from becoming repeat offenders.

Children's Minister Kelvin Davis announced the launch of a youth intervention programme at Te Mahurehure Marae in Auckland's Point Chevalier on Tuesday.

Davis said the initiative has been created for a small group of young recidivist offenders to break the cycle of offending.

The programme would see up to 60 recidivist young offenders and their families assigned an intensive support social worker to develop an immediate plan for the young person and provide ongoing support, the Government said in a statement.

The plan will be tailored to the needs of each child and family and could include mentoring, alcohol/drug treatment, support to navigate and access housing and education systems, mental health support and cultural support.

Davis said it's crucial to "get back on track those who are heading in the wrong direction".

"This joint agency approach we are pivoting towards and investing in is working," he said.

"It can no longer be left up to just one group or one agency to solve on its own, it's all too important."

He believes it needs to be a combined effort of community partners on the ground and colleagues across government.

He said youth crime had been trending for a number of years, however, communities had concerns about the recent spike.

"We must respond to that," he acknowledged.

"There does need to be consequences for this behaviour and the Government  is committed to reducing youth offending and its impact."

He believes "all stick and no carrot" is not what young people need.

The youth intervention programme is the latest in a series of announcements the Government has made which target youth offending.