Idea of putting youth offenders in ankle bracelets 'breaks my heart', National MP Erica Stanford says

The ACT Party's idea to fit youth offenders as young as 11 with ankle bracelets "breaks" National MP Erica Stanford's heart. 

ACT leader David Seymour announced the policy earlier this year, saying his party wanted to see more consequences for young people who committed serious offences - including ram raids. 

On Thursday, Police Minister Chris Hipkins indicated in Parliament putting ankle bracelets on ram raiders wasn't off the table. 

"In terms of the ankle bracelet policy, the issue of removing some of the repeat offenders from circulation and keeping them out of circulation is something the Government is very focused on," said Hipkins, under questioning from ACT Police spokesperson Chris Baillie. "I'm not convinced that extra use of ankle bracelets would necessarily achieve that but we're keeping all options on the table."

Hipkins' comments came after revelations there had been an average of one ram raid per day since May.

But Stanford, National's Education spokesperson, didn't believe ankle bracelets were the answer.

"I, and the National Party, are not wanting to see 11-year-olds with ankle bracelets," she told AM on Friday. "Firstly, I think we need to look at how we got here and these kids are so far away from the education system because we've done nothing over the last years to keep them attached.

"We're going to whack an ankle bracelet on them? I mean, it just breaks my heart that we're even talking about this," Stanford said.

She did say, however, the "soft-on-crime" approach needed to change.

"There is already a range of consequences and they need to be commensurate for the age of the person, the crime [and] the repetitiveness."

Baillie said the Government wasn't doing enough on youth offending and "if you can do the crime, you can cop the punishment".

"Some people will say 11-14 is too young to wear an ankle bracelet. Do those same people say it's too young to carry out a ram raid? 

"For every crime committed there is a victim who deserves better and when youth is involved, the stakes are even higher - we can't sit by while young New Zealanders become criminals."

Senior Labour MP Michael Wood told AM on Friday ACT's rhetoric was "pretty typical".

"These are young people who need to be held accountable but they're also deeply troubled - they're often from homes that are totally dysfunctional," he said.

"That's the work we've actually got to do to get on top of this problem."

National leader Christopher Luxon last month said the party wouldn't support the ankle bracelets idea.