This morning we awoke in Auckland to hear of yet another death of a dairy owner, highlighting the dangers that small traders face from time to time. It is usually criminals looking for quick cash and the occasional young person seeking other items, including smokes and whatever else they can grab. There is a strong possibility that a young person, just 13 years of age with a 12 year old accomplice, has shocked the Henderson community, after having endured the deaths of three other residents in nearby suburbs in the past month. That the alleged perpetrators o this latest crime are so young causes us to wonder just where we are going as a society.
This crime has many victims; the major ones being the shop owner and is family, but also the young lives destroyed by the actions they inflicted upon their victims. How is it that young people feel that they can enter a property and callously carry out their deeds, God alone knows for what reason? Surely not for the small gains that result. Let’s face it; apart from some cash and a few grocery items, smokes and confectionary---what’s to gain?
The thinking or lack of it speaks much for how we are bringing up our children. If they had not been caught (which would be unusual in NZ) what else would they have gone on enact upon their communities? Their parents will also be grieving for the imminent loss of their children into a system that will not necessarily change their offspring. Some wold say it is too late for these kids, if it is proven that they are responsible for this latest crime. The damage has already been done. I am sure that many will be looking at the homes these young people come from, but do not be surprised if the answers are not found there, but more in the wider community, where we all need to take responsibility to look after one another. Sure, if there is found to be a lacking in parental responsibility, then the ‘words will flow’ in the media, including this ‘platform,’ but we need to be careful in this time of grief and confusion, before we label, accuse and cast our nets wider.
Let’s look at what we as a society are doing, that result is so many criminal acts. Is it the perceived and real poverty of a large section of our communities or is it simply bad choices, learnt from those older and by the images we portray on our screens and other media. Either way, the difference between right and wrong is a fact that cannot be veered away from and those who cross the line, ultimately must step up or take responsibility. NO 12 or 13 year old, ‘known’ to the police should be in a position whereby they feel they can commit such terrible acts upon anyone in society.
I am sure the debate is going to become murky and all-inclusive’ in the responses we are about to hear; on out airwaves, newspapers and social media. Let us step back and see the bigger picture, but at the same time do whatever it takes to turn the lives around for the two ‘alleged’ perpetrators of this heinous crime. Last night was a stormy and sad time in Auckland for both man-made and natural events! THINK--- NZ!