There is a cultural class dimension of the ram raids and the Dairy violence we are seeing that is rarely investigated.
You have migrant Indian and Chinese workers working in Dairy’s and Bottle shops, many exploited by other Indian and Chinese permanent residents in NZ who are being violently assaulted and attacked by angry and alienated Polynesian and Māori youth who are the legacy of Key’s kids in cars and whose families were thrown out onto the streets thanks to the flawed Meth testing of State Houses while the white middle classes gasp in the suburbs (safely ensconced in their work from home privilege) demanding ‘something must be done’.
That’s NZ in a nutshell.
The Right are manipulating the Prison and Crime narrative.
They say the soft-on-crime-cuddle-a-crim Labour Party are fecklessly letting out 4000 prisoners while the crime rate soars.
They are not only confusing correlation as cause, they are ignoring how and why Labour gained those numbers in the first place.
When the National Party tightened Prison policy they allowed for non violent offenders to apply for home detention while in prison. All Labour did was provide assistance to the Prisoners eligible for that process to fill in the forms, because most of the prisoners are illiterate.
They aren’t skipping out the front gate and ram raiding Michael Hill Jewellers, they are on home detention and we put them on home detention because we know being inside prison is the best indication you are going to go back to prison!
70% reoffend after being released for two years!
They do that because Prison is a brutal, violent, corrupt, understaffed nightmare that is deeply traumatising and damaging for those who don’t pose a violent threat.
Only the worst are being kept in there, people whose actions are deeply damaging and all we are gaining is time inside where they can’t hurt the general public.
Our prison system is damaging, it takes angry hurt men and turns them into angrier monsters.
That’s why you want them out of prison!
So why is our crime rate soaring?
Let’s be honest, some certainly are sawing off their ankle bracelet and joining the Frey, but that is a single digit minority, not anywhere near what is generating the current crime wave.
What is generating the current crime wave is the same thing that is generating crime waves throughout the post-covid Western World.
Polling for the Mental Health Foundation found 36 per cent of people surveyed were experiencing poor emotional wellbeing, up from 27 per cent a year ago.
Add to all of this stress the enormous jump in rents and cost of living crisis and you have desperation, anxiety, anger and fear all combining into the current maelstrom.
Of course every effort must be taken to catch every perpetrator and have them dealt appropriately through Youth Court processes or social agencies, but understanding these ram raids are the psychological and economic symptom of a deeper malaise that is running through post-Peak Covid NZ is a far greater starting point in terms of decision making than allowing our fear and anger dictate policing policy that might make things worse.
Post covid societal and economic stresses causing crime waves at the same time there is 12.4% food inflation and a cost of living crisis while surviving the ongoing economic, cultural and social impacts of climate crisis storms and geopolitical shockwaves is as predictable as National having to walk something back 24 hours after Luxon says it!
Of course crime is exploding everywhere because the covid sacrifice was felt unevenly across our unequal society, pretending building more fucking prisons is a solution to all of that is sophistry at its most intellectually bankrupt.
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