“These kids are a danger to the community” Christchurch mother of 11-year-old offender speaks out

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Mar 24, 2023 |

A Christchurch mother has voiced her concern regarding her 11-year-old son’s involvement in criminal activities and the lack of adequate support to help him and other young offenders.

After learning about the recent aggravated robbery of a dairy in Sockburn, Janelle (not her real name) contacted Chris Lynch Media to share her experience, as she believes her son may have been involved.

“My son knows the children who did it, I’m even sure he was a part of it. They often do ram-raids, steal Mazda Demios, and shoplift all over Christchurch,” she said.

Janelle revealed that despite having a supportive family and assistance from Oranga Tamariki, her son continues to engage in criminal activities.

“There is so much support behind my son, and we try our best, and Oranga Tamariki is trying its best too.”

Emphasising the urgent need for intervention to address the growing problem of youth crime in Christchurch, Janelle said “youth these days have no respect and no morals, and they just don’t care about anything.”

Her son had been arrested multiple times, but due to his age, he was often sent back home without facing serious consequences.

Janelle said her son spent nine months at a North Island facility, which had a positive impact on him.

However, upon returning to Christchurch, he reconnected with the same group of children and resumed his previous behaviour.

“People need to realise how much stress there is on the families with these kids,” Janelle said, adding that she is concerned about the impact of her son’s actions on her own well-being, especially during her pregnancy.

“These kids are a danger to the community and themselves.”

She said police and Oranga Tamariki were aware of the individuals behind the recent attacks on retail stores across Canterbury.

Janelle stressed that the majority of the young offenders do not come from bad homes, but there was a need for a comprehensive plan to address the issue.

“The system is under a lot of stress with the crimes, but they really do need a plan in place to have funding and get these kids the help they need. I’m scared for their future,” she said.

Recalling her son’s time in the North Island facility, Janelle noted the positive impact it had on him.

“The staff worked with him, teaching him his whakapapa, life skills, responsibility, consequences for actions, basic things.”

However, the lack of funding eventually forced her son to leave the facility, leaving Janelle with concerns about the available resources to support her son.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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