The ram raids are a symptom of a much deeper malaise

Auckland ram raiders moving on to jewellery store smash-and-grabs

Ram-raiding youths who have plagued Auckland businesses are now favouring jewellery store smash and grabs, with at least two occurring in the city every week.

Police are boosting patrols around the city’s hotspots, but say the nature of the crime means extensive work is required to locate and address offenders’ behaviour.

The recent spate has reportedly shaken confidence in the retail industry, causing more business owners to provide health and safety training courses for their staff.

Police Minister Chris Hipkins has been briefed on what officers are doing to target recidivist offenders and cited what he considers a “good success rate” in holding them to account.

I appreciate and fully acknowledge seeing children commit organised crime like this is genuinely concerning to the wider community.

But I beg us all to take a deep breath, appreciate the uniqueness of this moment and the extreme pressure on so many people right now.

I’ve said from the beginning that Covid is a triple peaked crisis, the first was the physical impact on physical health, the second was the economic impact and the third was the impact on mental health.

Human Beings are social creatures, the worst punishment is isolation – we’ve all gone through a unique universal experience and it’s damaged many.

We are seeing that mental health pressure exploding everywhere from the Dumb Lives Matter protest on Parliament’s Lawns, to domestic violence, to fights in Supermarkets to a spike in crime, to the increasingly toxic online misogyny,  to the Wellington Middle Class Marxists screaming to send in the military to bash protestors they didn’t like…

…everyone has been impacted mentally by these unprecedented times and the true cost is yet to be felt.

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.

This is but the beginning of the post traumatic trauma this country is working through, we have to de-escalate and act like adults here, not become a fucking Lynch mob!

We have enough Lynch mobs as it is.

These damaged kids need our help, their criminality is a reflection of a gated neoliberal society who enrich the wealthy while providing crumbs for the poor.

The economic outlook is far more grim than we are admitting and these pressures are only building.

We need alternatives, not more of the same failed conservative social policy knee jerks.

The ramraids are a symptom of a much deeper malaise.


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