Youth crime: John Campbell shadows prevention team in South Auckland

December 8, 2022

"The playing field is not level". Those were the words of TVNZ Chief Correspondent John Campbell after he shadowed a youth crime prevention team in South Auckland on a home visit.

It comes as the Government today announced more support for programmes aimed at curbing persistent offending from young teens.

Kotahi te Whakaaro - an effort to get offenders under 14 to re-engage with education, family and community - will be expanded to 14 to 17 year olds, and look to increase funding for community support programmes across Auckland, Waikato, Northland and Bay of Plenty.

With two social workers, Andrae Muaiava and Feleti Lotulelei, Campbell visited the mother of a young offender.

He's been moved to another home, so he's away from his car-stealing mates.

"He's happy that he's left...because he's not in trouble any more, but he's not happy that he's left you," Andrae tells the mother.

TVNZ Chief Correspondent John Campbell with social workers Andrae Muaiava and Feleti Lotulelei.

"What we can see is that his brain doesn't work like everyone else's, and that's not his fault," Feleti said.

"Sometimes, the kids getting into trouble...a lot of them will do it but not have the ability to think further ahead."

The two men describe their job as "sharing the voice of the family".

"And then we bring it back to the table, we basically get in contact with everyone in our team, and just let them know I've met with the family," Andrae said. "These are the needs and supports that are required in the family.

"What can we do?"

Watch the full story above, and read John Campbell's exclusive interview with locked up teen ram-raiders here.


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