Kaitaia police have made more than two dozen arrests in a crackdown on youth crime in the Far North town.
Business people have been calling for more police action after a surge in burglaries.
Senior Sergeant Geoff Ryan says 28 people have been arrested for burglary since March, most of them aged between 12 and 20.
He says they should all be at school or at work, but are out on the streets looking for money or alcohol.
Senior Sergeant Ryan says law enforcement might stop their offending in the short term, but it doesn't address the root causes. Kaitaia as a community needs to be working to redirect its youth, and show them a brighter future than the one they are looking at right now, he says.