26 Sep 2012

Community can help young criminals - Cook Islands Council of Women

4:16 am on 26 September 2012

The Cook Islands Council of Women says it is essential that the police engage the local community to help stop young people becoming involved in crime.

Eleven people, including four children aged between 12 and 14, have been arrested after a surge in burglaries on the island.

The Police say they are working with the community in Rarotonga to try and help the young people involved.

The president of the council, Vaine Wichman, says budget cuts mean police have to turn to the community for help.

"The fact that the offenders coming through the system are underage is no longer a police issue. It should be a community, being the homes, the mothers, the fathers, the churches. We're just maybe giving lip service when we should be looking at our ourselves (and asking) where are our kids at that time?"

Vaine Wichman says she doesn't believe there is a big problem with young people being involved in crime in Rarotonga.