The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

Street Gangs, Youth Gangs and Violence

Posted by pauaprincess on August 20, 2007

An article in today’s NZ Herald about gang violence has resulted in a your views section to answer the problem of street gangs and gang violence in the Southern and Western Suburbs of Auckland. Until recently so called youth gangs have been virtually ignored by our Government. In fact gangs as a whole have been ignored, but with the step up in child abuse and a culture of violence simmering within society in New Zealand the issue has risen to the fore.

What do we do about gang violence is the question mooted.

The answer is fairly simple, it’s called accountability and we belong to a society that is using the politically correct label to slowly erode personal responsibility and accountability in every facet of our existence.

The Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 gave youths more rights than their parents and young offenders more rights than their victims. A law intended to protect children, has instead meant a lack of consequences and accountability for youth offenders.

Children aged 10-13 can only be prosecuted for Murder or Manslaughter, children aged 14 to 16 are dealt with with via the Youth Justice System. They can get a formal warning by frontline Police or be referred to the Police Youth Aid Division. Once referred to the Police Youth Aid Division they can be referred to a Family Group Conference, involving the offender, his family and the victim to decide whether or not charges should be laid and heard by the Youth Court or restorative justice can be arranged.

This results in a lack of meaningful consequence for most youth offenders. The law in effect, barely if ever touches them. By the time they reach the age of prosecution, 17, the pattern is set. When the papers outline a case and include a profile of the offender, it’s easy to see the pattern begins in youth with recidivist offenders. The rapist begins as a shoplifter, moves onto burglary, robbery and assault. While that offender pleads a lousy childhood, it’s clear from that the law does nothing to stop them.

“We have bred a society of Self Entitled Brats”

While I have no issue with children having rights, we have bred a society of self entitled brats. Want something and can’t afford it? No worries, just take it from someone else. You can break into their home and nick it, you can take it by force, it scarcely matters, as long as YOU have it, because, it’s all about YOU. Parents have caused this by abdicating responsibility to the nanny state, by allowing their children to dictate their schedules and households and to not understand that, in the words of Mick Jagger, “You can’t always get what you want”.

Children these days feel entitled to not just their parents love, but to a whole slew of commodities and consumer products their parents cannot afford or simply do not want them to have. It isn’t child abuse to deny your child an X Box, no matter what the commercials say. It’s not abusive to make your children learn to make their own sandwiches or tidy their rooms and it’s not abusive to be angry with your children when they let you down by committing a socially unacceptable act or enforcing boundaries to prevent them from doing so.

It is abusive to allow your children to think they are the be all and end of existence. It is abusive to allow your children to believe they can always win. It is abusive to not care what your children are doing after school and above all it is abusive to not enforce boundaries to protect them from themselves. It is abusive to allow your children to eat to counter boredom or to think they can have things without working for them.

“The end result is what we have”

When you add this attitude of entitlement to a society that by law, allows children to escape the consequences of their actions, you get what we have. A faction of society that believes they can act in any way they want to, to achieve their aim. Whether that aim be controlling their environment, obtaining possessions and money or being irresponsible with their own children.

Youths band together, form their own society with their own rules to create the boundaries they crave while achieving their aims of control and obtaining what they want with impunity. Gangs.

They start young, join the local neighbourhood kids, they discover the eternal truth, united we are stronger. They are adopt a name, a patch, an identity they can be proud of.


One Response to “Street Gangs, Youth Gangs and Violence”

  1. Cool Breeze said

    Want to stop gang violence?

    Give them free marijuana. Then they’ll be too laid back to do anything.

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