19 Jun 2007

Cook Islands police face criticised for treatment of juvenile offenders

2:11 pm on 19 June 2007

There is concern in the Cook Islands that local police are not referring young offenders to the Juvenile crime prevention committee.

The chairman of the committee, Tangi Kapi, says it should be meeting once a month to deal with juvenile offenders, police and the families of the young people.

He says through the committee he was able to talk to the children and their parents about the cause of their offending.

But, he says that's not happening as the police have instead by-passed the committee and taken the offender straight to children's court.

"But what the police are doing, is going ahead interview the child, find out what the child has said and record it, and that's it, I don't know whether they bring the parents in with them when they interview the child, and I think this is wrong."

Tangi Kapi says the high numbers of repeat offenders among people is also a concern.