Ram-raids Around New Zealand

You may have heard people talking about a recent spate of ram-raids around New Zealand. Usually a young person, or a group of young people, steal a car and drive it through the window of a shop, and then steal as much as they can before they run away. It seems as though there is a ram-raid every week at the moment. In fact, there has been an average of five ram-raids a week since last year. The ram-raids are mostly in Auckland and the Waikato, and recently the number of ram-raids has been about 15 a week.

The motivation for the youths involved in the ram-raids are usually thrill-seeking and participating in a trend by committing a copy-cat crime. It is possible that problems in the lives of children during the pandemic has resulted in some crime. Other possible causes could be poverty and addiction. However, specialists have asked us not to despair. Ministry of Justice data shows youth offending has decreased by about 60 percent in the last ten years.

We can hope that this trend will pass, and social workers hope that the youths involved will get help rather than get sent to prison, where they may learn other bad habits. Shop owners are advised to install bollards outside their windows, media are asked to downplay the trend so that copy-cat crimes are not encouraged, and community workers will try to educate youth to find better ways to express themselves.

Vocabulary:

ram: try to break down a wall, window or door by pushing against it very hard

raid: attack a place quickly

offender: someone who breaks the law

offending: breaking the law

spate: a sudden trend

bollard: a heavy post bolted to the ground for ships to be tied to, or to stop cars from driving into an area

copy-cat: someone who copies

poverty: not having enough money

addiction: problems with drugs and alcohol

specialist: someone who studies one special topic

despair: lose hope

downplay: make something seem less interesting or exciting

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