Saturday, November 19, 2022

Darroch Ball: The Problem with the Bollards

If bollards were the solution to ram raids and youth crime, then the National Party’s solution of fog cannons would have solved it eight years ago – because it’s the same thing.

The reason why they both won’t work is that they aren’t even touching the sides of the problem: the offenders.

It’s almost an admission of failure. They can’t deal with the offending so they just try and mitigate the effects. Folks, that’s literally the limit of these measures.

What’s the most mind-boggling is the fact that most, if not all, of the small businesses that can apply for bollards are ones that have to have already been robbed. Yes. They already have to have been ram-raided before they get funding for bollards.

How is that a ‘preventative measure’ if they have to have been robbed first? It’s a comedy.

If you think just one step further, how are bollards going to stop these idiot teens from ram raiding exactly? What do you think is going to happen if they drive up to a shop that has these bollards up in front of it…? Yes, they will just keep driving to the next shop that doesn’t.

The only way this Government thinks bollards are the solution is if they are going to block every single shop front across the country with bollards. Alas, that’s the logic and brain capacity of the political party currently in charge.

What should really worry New Zealanders is the fact that the previous government’s solution was fog cannons; now it’s bollards; what do you think is next?

Can we not see that it shouldn’t be the responsibility of the businesses to protect themselves, nor in particular that of the taxpayer. It is the responsibility of the government and justice system to deal with these idiot offenders.

Now we have the policy of ‘bootcamps’. If you think you have heard that before it’s because you have – Bill English had it as a policy back in 2017 (straight after nine years of defunding the Army LSV boot camp programme for troubled youth) – riddle me that.

Don’t get me wrong, I know first-hand that Army training will sort these kids out. But not after they have already graduated into gangs and into being hardened criminals who think nothing of taking a hammer to a dairy owner’s face for a pack of smokes. Let’s just think about this for a second.

I have always pushed for Army based training for at-risk youth. But this policy is just a dog whistle policy to sound tough when it will just fail. We need to get them into these Army programmes before they start ram raiding – not after. These programmes are designed for corrective training, not punishment. It’s not rocket science.

But, therein lies the problem.

Governments love to react to fires rather than deal with the real issues. Both National and Labour have screwed up over the last few decades when dealing with the youth justice system.

This wave of youth crime was inevitable, and predicted, but it was ignored for political reasons – by both colours of governments.

Don’t forget, it was National who extended the youth court jurisdiction to include even older teens in the wet bus ticket regime. Now they want a boot camp to try and deal with the aftermath. Comedy.

The scariest part of it all is that Labour still thinks the youth justice system is the best in the world. And when last in government, National thought the same.

We are in trouble in New Zealand. This isn’t a ‘spike’ in youth crime. This is the start of the inevitable upward spiral. Mark my words.

Not that some of us hadn’t warned that this exact thing was going to happen.

Former NZ First MP Darroch Ball was elected to the New Zealand parliament at the 2014 general election, is currently co-leader and spokesperson for the Sensible Sentencing Trust. This article was published HERE


Anonymous said...

You are on to it thank you, but it has to start before adolescence. The terribly sad thing is that not only are these children being brought up without cuddles and loving advice and bed-time stories, it seems they are not even being raised like a loved pet dog with firm direction and 'rewards'. They could not display such lack of empathy, and mindlessly repetitive, and largely fruitless activities if anybody cared what happened to them. All the bleeding hearts who mourn the loss of cultural knowledge should just shut up and care about real people for a change

Anonymous said...

You're right there. Dysfunctional families are a growing problem in NZ and the product of those are now there for all to see. Until we address the former, we will not solve the problem. What sickens me is that we are still incentivising profligate breeding and, notwithstanding all the incessant bs espoused about te ao Maori, tikanga etc etc, there's a cohort of the population (both Pakeha and Maori) that are failing their children and not providing appropriate role models nor ethics. We have a cohort with a broken culture and until we address that, we are just in for more of the same.

Anonymous said...

i just heard that we have more kids born to unmarried parents than families last year (ending Sep). the worst is yet to come - just wait for a decade!

Anonymous said...

And your solution appears to be boot camps for ALL youth. How does that work? Is it like conscription? A year in the army for everyone when they turn...16? 17? How does that work when the average age of the young ram-raiders is 14 or thereabouts? Or would you have the age of conscription at say 12?

Perhaps Darroch needs to have a rethink about this because what he has suggested does not add much. Perhaps have a look at the connection between welfare dependency and family breakdown and youth crime. Maybe then his attention would turn to a solution that looks at transitioning people from welfare to work.

Maybe he should turn his attention to changing the education system to one that indoctrinates to one that equips kids with life skills - like english, basic numeracy and critical thinking.

Maybe trades training within the army should be promoted as a career option for the relatively small number of kids who need to escape their family and friends to get ahead.