Blaming Teens for ram raids isn’t a solution, it’s an emotional knee jerk

We have enough Lynch mobs as it is.

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I think the adults need to take over the ram raid debate and seek means to de-escalate this rather than add fuel to the fire.

I appreciate and fully acknowledge seeing children commit organised crime like this is genuinely concerning to the wider community.

But I beg us all to take a deep breath, appreciate the uniqueness of this moment and the extreme pressure on so many people right now.

I’ve said from the beginning that Covid is a triple peaked crisis, the first was the physical impact on physical health, the second was the economic impact and the third was the impact on mental health.

Human Beings are social creatures, the worst punishment is isolation – we’ve all gone through a unique universal experience and it’s damaged many.

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We are seeing that mental health pressure exploding everywhere from the Dumb Lives Matter protest on Parliament’s Lawns, to domestic violence, to fights in Supermarkets to a spike in crime, to the increasingly toxic online misogyny,  to the Wellington Middle Class Marxists screaming to send in the military to bash protestors they didn’t like…

…everyone has been impacted mentally by these unprecedented times and the true cost is yet to be felt.

Polling for the Mental Health Foundation found 36 per cent of people surveyed were experiencing poor emotional wellbeing, up from 27 per cent a year ago.

Add to all of this stress the enormous jump in rents and cost of living crisis and you have desperation, anxiety, anger and fear all combining into the current maelstrom.

That’s why I think Mark Mitchell’s suggestion to revoke the Police chase policy is probably the single worst thing we could do behind arming Police with heat seeking missiles.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a certain appreciation for Mark, I thought the Police Minister was petty and beneath the Mana of the Minister when she denied him access to speaking with Police Commanders, and we’ve enjoyed vigorous debates in the past, and while his point that these kids seem fearless and live under the false illusion there are no consequences to their actions, announcing a change in Police policy at the height of this ram raid crisis is only going to scare the fucking bejesus out of these adrenalin pumping kids and will almost certainly result in fatalities.

We don’t need dead people added to this problem.

Of course every effort must be taken to catch every perpetrator and have them dealt appropriately through Youth Court processes or social agencies, but understanding these ram raids are the psychological and economic symptom of a deeper malaise that is running through post-Peak Covid NZ is a far greater starting point in terms of decision making than allowing our fear and anger dictate policing policy that might make things worse.

This is but the beginning of the post traumatic trauma this country is working through, we have to de-escalate and act like adults here, not become a fucking Lynch mob!

We have enough Lynch mobs as it is.

These damaged kids need our help, their criminality is a reflection of a gated neoliberal society who enrich the wealthy while providing crumbs for the poor.

The economic outlook is far more grim than we are admitting and these pressures are only building.

We need alternatives, not more of the same failed conservative social policy knee jerks.

 

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58 COMMENTS

  1. So what do you suggest Martyn instead of police not chasing thieves/thugs/joy riders?
    These drivers drive at excessive speed through suburbs and main streets putting other drivers and pedestrians at risk WITHOUT the police chasing them, and when police alerted all the drivers need to do is hit 100+ kph in a residential area and police stop the pursuit….you do know the joyrides/thieves/thugs all know this and purposely drive that way knowing them and their stolen car are away free and easy!
    Hopefully National when they win next year will install police chase again, it’s their fucking job to catch criminals.
    If some crash their car…..sad, but fact of life being a criminal being chased by police.
    When woke Coster gets moved on hopefully an actual police commissioner who upholds the actual law gets installed in the role.

    • You assume that the police are capable of driving at excessive speed in suburban areas like they are bona fide Lewis Hamiltons. I would not share that confidence. What you are saying is let’s have multiple cars putting pedestrians and other drivers at risk, rather than one.

      I get that it sucks but I think you will find a number of countries (like Australia) have established that high speed chases statistically are a bad option. You are absolutely right that part of policing is to catch these bastards but not at the expense of innocent bystanders

    • I’m Right. Until we are all microchipped the cops will often have no way of knowing whether a driver is an accomplished adult or an inexperienced kid who is a menace to everybody including himself. Chasing such disaster on wheels is a no-brainer. They sometimes go on to smash themselves, and sometimes that’s a tragedy.

    • I’m right You’re missing the point. It’s better to address the social conditions which result in kids behaving in anti-social and dangerous ways, than to allow them to continue, even if you and Mark Mitchell like the idea of police chases. It probably can be done, but it requires a commitment from government apart from the usual empty sloganeering. If you like the idea of chasing criminals so much, then I suggest that you join the police force and do it yourself – that’s if they’ll have you.

      • About retraining youngsters away from ram raid behaviour

        To take a grown up approach to stopping kids driving dangerously and stealing cars  I reckon use their desire to be drivers and treat it as a rite of passage for being taken into the capable adult section of society.
        They can apply at a certain age, after they have done a road rules test of over 60% and get free lessons and join a club that has racing on one afternoon in the weekend.  Or apply to do an apprenticehip on something and do the driving in the weekend.   Get them doing something, get them a driving licence, get them controlling themselves so they have a good record, and can get a job as a driver commercially once they are 18 or if specially good 17.   Lots of carrot there and hope too for a future that they can have.  

        A lot of people want to punish, punish, forbid and damn them.   We would get further using our brains more effectively.   The line at the end of the discussion period can be –  ‘What have we got to lose?  and  ‘We can afford to spend some life-training time financing on them, and of course we will study the outcomes, and see how effective, though also remembering it doesn’t have to be even 80% successful perhaps 66%.’  

        And this is important – each group that goes through should put forward and discuss, their ideas on how it could be more effective and whether they would like to try that training and gaining minimum certification in other avenues.   It could open up a tranche of young men with purpose, commitment to advanced skill areas.   Positives would grow but it would have to be started and run by committed people not some dumb agency with out-of-date outmoded and censorious approach.  Also the funding would NOT be withdrawn after a few years.   The need for it if successful will be continual and it wastes good people’s talents just cutting them off in favour of some new shiny scheme.

    • I do have to say injury/death in the commission of a crime is a part of the ‘career’ chosen….sorry for by-standers but for the offender ‘you paid (actually didn’t pay) you’re money and took your choice’.

  2. The kids saw their parents mentally struggle to pay the rent to the scumlord who Jacinda gave 300k tax free capital gain PER HOUSE!! Whilst they got fuck all. South Africa here we come!!!

    • basic fact kiwi in SA black africans are a minority, in NZA maori are a minority…ergo NZ is being fucked by non maori…
      possibly the boers who fled here bringing their attitudes to ‘kaffiers’ with them…well it’s a possibility innit?

  3. Mongrel Island is where they should be sent for re-programming.

    With more than $700m spent on these kids on go-nowhere programmes every year. Obviously, these kids are not getting their cut so they have to make do.

    Maybe they’re tired of living in motels with their family for so long? That would drive anyone nuts!

    Maybe, OT isn’t the answer?

    Maybe they need to spend some time at their tupuna’s graveside?

    Whatever the answer is, I’m sure Housing is a major part of that equation.

  4. there’s a diffence between a cause/reason, which is sociologically interesting and needs addressing and an excuse which mitigates guilt…..they are not the same, the ’cause’ does not excuse the action.

    • gagarin “ The cause damage does not excuse the action” is a sweeping generalisation. There are many examples of unlawful actions being the ‘reasonable’ outcome of causes, hence the provision of defences for such actions available under criminal law.

          • so applewood you can’t enlighten me then…

            hint – provocation is a ‘defence’ not an ‘excuse’

            it can mitigate the punishment but but not the act.

            • Gagarin I can enlighten you, but it would be rather a tedious and quite a lengthy undertaking, especially without the practical benefits of the Socratic method to make it easier for me. Good luck anyway – you might be less cantankerous if you returned to your own country.

              • oh so that’s your considered ‘socratic’ position is it?
                ‘if you don’t agree fuck off home*’
                I must bow my head to such an intellectual giant

                * I’m a citizen, have a passport and pay my taxes, this is my home and has been for more than 25yrs so have every right to any view I hold, so I invite you to swivel on it, mate…and yes that was a bit cantankerous

  5. There are systemic problems here and I believe these kids are learning their skills from peer groups and older family members and friends. One can not blame the Police and the current Government for these problems, they have been growing year on year, where now certain sectors of society see gangsterism and crime as acceptable behaviour. They actually do not know what normal acceptable behaviour is in todays society.

    • Ngungukai. Yes, I agree. Denny is also right in saying that housing is a major problem. The homeless situation is a social and moral disgrace. Some of these children have no secure anchorage in their young lives, and they never have had, and the effects of coronavirus scenarios have exacerbated already- unstable family bases.
      .

    • I read it a few years back by a commentary that where you have a very strong upper class with lots of power you see the same trend eventually at the bottom. The bottom build up a similar way but use the power of might over money to get their way. This is the course we are on now

  6. We need to implement a policy like they do in
    Saudi Arabia. We need to start cutting off the hands of criminals!

    • Zelda will you be present sharpening up the blade when it is time to cut off their hands? Bet you will be sitting back expecting some other poor sod to do your dirty deed.

      I say bring back good family environments, with mothers able to stay home and care for their little ones, and fathers able to support their families working forty hours a week.

      Douglas and his mob changed NZ for the worst, we are now paying for their brilliant ideas.

      Maybe take a blade to their “trickle down” necks.

    • Zelda will you be present sharpening up the blade when it is time to cut off their hands? Bet you will be sitting back expecting some other poor sod to do your dirty deed.

      I say bring back good family environments, with mothers able to stay home and care for their little ones, and fathers able to support their families working forty hours a week.

      Douglas and his mob changed NZ for the worst, we are now paying for their brilliant ideas.

      Maybe take a blade to their “trickle down” necks.

      • It’s pretty simple mark. Fuck off to Singapore.

        Avoiding the need to address the systemic problem is why we have this systemic problem.

        Deal with it properly head-on.

        Starting with a roof over their heads and kai on the table and a steady home environment will help.

        • The reason we have this systemic problem is because of fuckers like you. The fact is the problem could be solved overnight if this government and law enforcement had the fortitude to solve it. The fact us the problem has been successfully solved in different places around the world and we should be open minded and draw lessons from that.

          • Denny has a large chip on his shoulder. He tries to sound profound but his true belief is obvious.

          • I don’t know whether the mind to cope with our problem is at present so wide open Mark that the thoughts blow across from one side to another without leaving a trace, or so closed that the hinges have to be sprayed with CRC to get them to creak open. Is this rust I see before me or dried blood we shout and look at the mouldy artifacts there.

            Smart guys like you Mark should be able to come up with new ideas all sorted with time lines, budgets and programs and be encouraging the ones who could improve and get out of the rut and then encourage them to go on as role models. And look at them as people not stick men in a board game or protean avatars dancing to your whim and to the game developers.

      • no mark, cultures are different

        where has ‘the problem been solved’ in a country with our kind of culture?
        yankland—–draconian laws and a fucked up system yeaaaa go uncle sam
        the UK the sick man of europe
        the scandis don’t have a handle on it

        I could go on and on and on but will spare my fellow posters.

  7. “We need alternatives, not more of the same failed conservative social policy knee jerks.”

    Well what alternatives do you have Martyn?

    I suppose liberal social policy ‘knee jerks’ have been a great success eh?

    • You don’t understand how the the next generation is being pushed into organised crime rather than seeking it out. it’s a different perspective.

    • Stern measures might evoke farts. And there would be a better way to handle the problem rather than people haranguing the criminals. Give them work to do, keep them under control in their own gated community, and let them earn a living, and learn some useful skills so they can be self-sufficient. Not just dish them a big lecture as I’m dishing you.

      Get them away from their own background and give them one where they can be self sufficient and earn and proud then they don’t sink into the ways of the gangs, but earn their money to live a reasonable life. Give them a chance and again when they fail. There will be improvement, not all will be excellent, but less crime, able to settle down with less nasty crims and violent deeds they will handle their own bad traits and have better lives.

      • oh grey you mean something like a prison/borstal…though you do have a point modern penal systems that are so underfunded no education or vocational training is offered are guaranteed to fail…locking someone in a box 23hrs a day never improved anything..
        education/training is a path for those who do want out of the life…..shit even a basic cookery and gardening course might help some.

  8. I will of course find it interesting to hear National saying it’s the government’s fault for these ram-raids and yet when they were in government they(National)were noticeably quiet on condemning the Roast Busters and their(the Roast Busters) raping young women after getting them drunk or drugged.
    I just wonder where are the parents of the younger offenders today???!!! Sure there are some fantastic parents whose kids have gone off the rails. My brother once got mixed up with a bad crowd and partook of burglaries despite the fact our parents were JW and abhorred any crime upon others.
    I am sure during these difficult times that ram-raids are a problem the world over. There is no magic bullet or whatever that will change things. It’s the sad reality of living in a unpredictable world that is full of daily challenges.
    Sadly I feel those young people that chose a life of crime will either end up in jail or dead.

    • roast busters was a prime example of that good old NZ tradition of daddy buying you out of trouble…a downright fucking disgrace and a shameful mark on NZ

      they’re all probably safely ensconced in well paying jobs with daddy now…

  9. If you ever wanted an argument against co-governance – our treatment of brown youth offenders is exhibit A. For the last 30 years we have been fed a narrative that being kind and engaging in tribal restoration activities is going to change the trend – which it has. It has accelerated!!! Basic behaviourism suggests if you get a positive result out of an action you will do it again which happens when youths commit a crime.

    If they are ram raiding on behalf of gangs at 11 that individual is already beyond help and it now comes down to how best protect the public from their actions

    • Frank what else has been happening over the last 30 years? Increasing poverty, increasingly unaffordable housing, and the rising general cost of living in a low wage economy. But somehow it’s all about setting treaty grievances?

      • We have been in a low wage economy for many years, of which Bill English was a strong proponent and of which Labour and Ardern are attempting to address with strong opposition, opposition for opposition sake or in ACT’s case, them being a strong proponent of the free market and liberal trade policies, keeping employees below minimum wage.

        • Bert, Yes you’re right about slippery English’s part in helping to perpetrate social divisions, and doing it in an unbelievably unrealistic way by enticing exploitable immigrant labour and seemingly oblivious to practicalities like housing and accommodation. Politicians well provided for by we the taxpayers, may end up too detached from reality to be of much use, but the low wage economy scenario is nasty.

    • Acouple of the builders on the site that I am working at are ex BPs, they ay are in their mid twenties now. S to say that anyone who comes into contact with gangs is beyond help is a gross lie. No one is beyond help, some people just need different motivations to change behaviors.

  10. …are we not allowed to mention the ethnicity of these minors? Been listening to RNZ National and they twist around awkwardly not to mention it. Is there a “D’ notice on this?

  11. The comments above are unaligned with reality. It’s a shame to attract these know-nothing Right-wing crows. Beneath their breathes it’s the regular racism I get from my know-nothing customers.

  12. I agree with you on the Neo liberal gated community Martyn it is indeed a real concept and in play right now. Even though It is denied by those at the business end who are gaining from it. They love it and don’t really give much of a care for anyone below their own station in life.

  13. Why do the same kids that ram raid nit put their hand on a hit stove plate? Aaaah they realise that there are nasty consequences so they don’t do it. But Labour has simply turned the stove off.

    • ohhh yessss the nats were sooo firm and haaard…

      how many cars did ‘crusher’ crush again? do remind me.

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