A nice problem to have

September 20th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Sometimes the Government has to change a target because it is not going to meet it. In this case we have the Government changing a target because they have already met and exceeded it.

Isaac Davidson at NZ Herald reports:

The Government has reset its target for youth crime reduction because offending by young people has dropped significantly since the goal was set.

The justice sector’s initial Better Public Services target was to reduce youth crime by 5 per cent by 2017.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said today that target had been exceeded – between June 2011 and June 2013, youth crime dropped by 19 per cent.

“Huge effort has gone into targeting youth offending and keeping young people from going before the courts, and it’s paying off,” Ms Collins says.

The target would be changed to a 25 per cent reduction by 2017.

That’s a great problem to have.

Statistics New Zealand figures showed conviction rates in the Youth Court were at their lowest point since records began in 1992.

These figures did not reflect all offending by young people, because most young offenders were not charged and were given alternative penalties.

But Ministry of Justice figures supported the downwards trend in youth offending. Research showed that police apprehensions of people aged 10 to 16 were at a 10-year low.

If the reduction in youth offending can be sustained, then that will flow through in later years to the overall offending rate.

11 Responses to “A nice problem to have”

  1. BeaB (2,512 comments) says:

    I wonder if the media will make any comment. Doubt it but if they do I bet we’ll get that tired old crusher rubbish as well.
    I also wonder how the Labour and Greens will explain this. More dastardly oppression of the poor by those nasty Tories?
    Well done once again to John Key’s team.

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  2. AG (1,949 comments) says:

    This is a good thing, for which the Government deserves much credit.

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  3. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    Why is there no information in the article on how this was achieved?

    I’m suspicious.

    Crime figures are notorious for touch ups.

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  4. Ed Snack (2,793 comments) says:

    Notice that they’re NOT saying anywhere that youth crime has reduced; they saying that they are catching fewer and convicting fewer. Now that could be because there is less youth crime, or it could be that they are simply not trying to catch them. The cynic in me suggests that option 2 is at least a possibility.

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  5. kowtow (13,201 comments) says:

    yep I’m with Ed n’ Red on this.

    The huge effort to quote the minister has gone into keeping youth out of court.The key is in the story itself “because most young offenders were not charged and were given alternative sentences”.

    I am always suspicious of arbitrary targets set by “management.” Somehow targets will be met.Bonuses and promotions depend on it.

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  6. duggledog (2,357 comments) says:

    Bring back the stocks, the birch, stop the DPB, reintroduce corporal punishment in schools, compulsory military training for school leavers who are not working or in tertiary study, give all Police pistols, mandatory prison term with no parole for failing to stop for red & blues, in fact disband the parole board, allow banks to have firearms on site (they did until the 1970s), no state handouts in the form of cash, no state handouts for anyone with more than one conviction, remove children of shit parents, give cash incentives for feckless parents to become sterilised, and watch all crime drop by 95% in 12 months. Too easy.

    Good signs though, well done Key and Co. Better than a poke in the eye I suppose

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  7. radvad (956 comments) says:

    Duggle “too easy”

    I’m afraid it is not easy at all. The multiple groups with a vested interest in crime and other social pathologies will get on their back legs and howl. You know the ones. They do not want crime reduced, they merely want to manage it. They exist because they are able to farm dysfunction and don’t anyone dare suggest anything that would threaten that.

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  8. Nick R (947 comments) says:

    Are young people committing fewer crimes? Or are there just fewer young people? It would be interesting if someone plotted this in terms of numbers of convictions per capita per annum for the 10-16 age group. Beyond my skills, alas.

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  9. Sector 7g (285 comments) says:

    So basically. “If you police guys can release another 6 % of youth criminals before charging them…..that would be great”

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  10. duggledog (2,357 comments) says:

    Sector, that’s not far from the truth. Although there have been gains. It wasn’t so long ago that Police had pretty much given up on trying to control the boy racer problem; now with the legislation only the 5% knuckleheads persist. The rest get caught once, twice… three times no thanks. Great success.

    Radvad, I know what you mean but it would be easy. Humans make laws to suit and they can change them to suit. For example banks stopped keeping guns behind the counters because there were no armed robberies. Genius thinking! Now armed robberies are almost a daily occurrence and hardly newsworthy.

    Many NZers are getting a bit impatient. 19% (read 10%) just isn’t enough. National is going in the right direction but not fast or deep enough to make any real difference before the crazy mob gets in.

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  11. orewa1 (430 comments) says:

    Sadly I dont believe this for a moment. The police, in cahoots with lawyers and at the behest of ambitious Ministers. have become focused on the appearance of reducing crime rather than the reality. Justice for ordinary people has been the casualty.

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