2 Apr 2013

Cook Islands community unite to combat youth crime

6:06 am on 2 April 2013

The Cook Islands community has united to combat a problem many feel is dominating the country - youth crime.

One initiative is a Community Advisory Council to address the growing number of young people getting caught up in a life of crime.

The newly-formed group has representatives from a wide sector of the community.

It held meetings recently on Rarotonga so people could have their say in how youth could be helped.

A Council member, Pastor Tutai Pere, says the beauty of the advisory council - which will work with police - is that each community can have a say in how programmes on youth crime in their neighbourhood should be run.

He also says addressing youth crime should not fall on the shoulders of just one group of society to deal with.

"Everyone has to bare the responsibility that's why they are coming behind supporting the council, whatever other committees that shall be set up in the community, it's all for the same purpose. There is overwhelming support, no doubt."

Pastor Pere says these measures are putting the mana back into the community.