Family First NZ says that the Ministry of Justice statistics for pre-teen violence released this week show a disturbing trend.
“From 1998-2008, the number of police apprehensions for grievous/serious assaults by 10-13 year olds increased by more than 70%, and for minor assaults by more than 20%. For each of the most recent two years, there has been almost 1,000 apprehensions for 10-13 year olds for all violent offences, which include aggravated robbery, sexual violation, indecent assault, and serious assaults – an increase of a third since 1998,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Alarm bells should be ringing when there has been a 70% increase in the number of children committing a serious enough act of violence to warrant police involvement.”
“The numbers for young teens offer no comfort either. The number of serious assault apprehensions for young teens (14-16) has also increased by almost 70% and the overall numbers of violent offences has increased by 42%. There were even 60 apprehensions for violent offences by 9 year olds or younger in 2008”
“There are many factors that may be contributing to these statistics including the levels of violence in the media and games, the undermining of parental and school authority and the ‘rights’ culture being fed to young people, family breakdown, underage drinking, drug use, and family breakdown and fatherlessness,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“But firstly, we must be honest enough to admit that there is a disturbing trend which needs urgent action.”