Over the last week we have seen a number of incidents that have involved a numerous young offenders ranging from age 13 through to 18. Today tragically it would appear that a 13 year old, at the wheel of a car, has ploughed into a house and been killed. His passengers ran off. Earlier today, in Hamilton a young driver, who had been apprehended a little more than 24 hours earlier with two mates driving stolen cars in what was described as a demolition derby, was once again involved with driving a stolen vehicle and having an accident. This time a 13 year old passenger was injured. On Monday it was reported the Police had stopped another 14 year old driving a car while intoxicated, and in Timaru the Police were pelted with missiles by a number of youth after a party had got out of control. Six youth, aged between 15 and 18, once again heavily intoxicated, were arrested by the Police. The Police commented they could of arrested a number more.
In most of these incidents young people had got hold of alcohol and become intoxicated or they were stealing cars and crashing them for fun. One must wonder in all these incidents involving young youth, most of whom are just out of Primary/Intermnediate school, where are the parents. What is their role in this appalling behaviour. It is accepted that occasionally children go off the rails even with good parents but by being good parents the odds of this occurring are greatly reduced. By good, I mean parents/carers who set a good example, have some values, know what their children are doing and spending time with them. If these actions are neglected one increases the odds that children will get into trouble. The community needs to work together to ensure that youth are gainfully occupied acknowledging that young people will occasionally lose the "plot".