WINSTON PETERS: Let them know – crime doesn’t pay

Too often Northland only gets in the national spotlight when things go wrong.

A lot of positive, ordinary everyday things go on in the North which are considered not newsworthy.

But any trouble is bound to hit the headlines and television screens and while other parts of the country have similar problems, it’s the North that seems to cop it.

However, we cannot ignore that Northland does have serious problems.

CCTV coverage of around 20 rampaging youths, some as young as 12, trying to smash their way into a Kaikohe service station after a liquor store had earlier been robbed shows a breakdown in law and order.

These kids are out of control; they have no respect for authority or other people and their property.

And if these kids are doing this sort of thing now – what future mayhem are they going to cause?

Various factors contribute to this mess: Slack parents who do not accept responsibility or accountability; lack of police and politically correct politicians like Labour and National who want the age of criminal responsibility increased and at risk children placed back into dysfunctional families.

This is absurdly wrong.

But lack of police is one factor that must be sorted quickly. Of 22 police stations in Northland, 16 of them are unmanned and there are far too few police in the region.

If kids know there are no police around and that if they get caught the worst outcome is only home detention, then of course they are going to act up.

New Zealand First wants 1800 extra police trained as quickly as possible and a sizeable number of them deployed to Northland.

Another measure we favour is changing social welfare legislation to make parents accountable.

A grandmother of one of the Kaikohe offenders displayed great community spirit potting her grandson to police, as did the parents of two others.

These actions should be encouraged.

We have to return this country to what other generations knew: That crime doesn’t pay.

Those out of control kids in Kaikohe thought it did.

They should be given a rude awakening.