Police Sargeant Brendon Paul is one of seven youth aid officers in Wellington city
“trying to put things in place to stop youth offending.”
He told the club this week that 80 percent of “the kids we deal with don’t come back,
but about five percent come back frequently.”
Social media was a big problem. “If there’s a ram raid the offenders can be
displaying the stolen goods on social media platforms even before the police have
attended the scene of the crime.”
It was the same with stolen vehicles where the offenders liked to show off what they
had acquired. It was noted that Toyota Hiace vans were the most frequently stolen
vehicles because they seemed the easiest to break in to and start.
Criminal liability of offending began at the age of ten, and a youth was a person aged
between ten and eighteen, when adulthood was reached.
Examples of the offending youth aid officers deal with were: unlawful taking,
shoplifting, burglaries, random assaults and dealing drugs.
“Cannabis is an issue: synthethics less so,” Brendon said.
The team in Wellington was currently dealing with about seventy kids and there were
over a hundred cases in the greater Wellington area.
Asked about the role of parents in the offending, Brendon said some parents just
weren’t present in their children’s lives. Others didn’t have the skills or the will to deal
with the misbehaviour. “Still others were dysfunctional themselves,” he said.