Youth offending flaring up

Friday September 18, 2020 Written by Published in Crime
Police interviewed teenagers aged between 13-15 in relation to flares that were fired at the Avatiu waterfront area recently. POLICE/20091633 Police interviewed teenagers aged between 13-15 in relation to flares that were fired at the Avatiu waterfront area recently. POLICE/20091633

Parents and guardians need to play their part when it comes to dangerous youth offending.

Forty flares were allegedly stolen from a storage facility at Avatiu Harbour and police want them returned or retrieved.

The police have also interviewed teenagers aged between 13-15 in relation to flares that were fired at the Avatiu waterfront area recently. They believe around 10 teenagers may have been involved at different times in the break-in.

The police are now calling on parents and guardians to play their part in keeping their children away from illegal activities.

A counselling agency is commending the police force for reaching out to parents to put a stop to these unlawful juvenile activities.

Punanga Tauturu coordinator Rebeka Buchanan says it may be neglect from parents not knowing where their children are, or they may be trusting their child too much.

Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt could not comment on where the flares were taken from but said that it was through an alleged break-in of a storage area near the harbour where expired flares have been kept.

Pitt said: “Parents and guardians need to play their part. The concern is serious. Police want them returned or retrieved.”

Two reports of flares being fired into the air have been filed with police over recent weeks.

In one incident three weeks ago, a flare landed on the main road outside National Police Headquarters. Police sea rescue has also been mobilised in recent times, as a result of flare sightings.

Police said that questions also remain over the unexplained igniting of a house fire in the Avatiu area recently. They are looking into an alleged sighting of a flare on the night of the fire.

Pitt says they will be looking for stronger input from the statutory committee responsible for reviewing such cases.

“Police want to talk to the parents or guardians of offenders once a meeting can be arranged, and a substantive file may be referred to the Juvenile Crime Prevention Committee,” Pitt said.

Rebeka Buchanan says police, committee members and parents must work together.

She said it was important that the relevant authorities look into the background of the child and let community leaders know what is going on with youths from their area.

“The community needs to know what is happening in their neighbourhood, then they can monitor the situation and talk to parents.”

In some cases, parents can take care of the situation while some cannot do it on their own and this is where the community can work with them, Buchanan said.

“It is good police want to talk to parents first, it is important.”

Buchanan says it is important that these juveniles learn the dangers of their crimes.

“It is important to act now, rather than later. Do parents know where their young ones are? Are they trusting them too much or are parents too busy?” she says.

She added that even at the age of 13-16, they are still children and they need care and direction.

Police are calling on the public or anyone with any knowledge about the unauthorised possession of flares to notify them as flares may be dangerous and perhaps lethal if wrongly handled.

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