The man in charge of youth policing in Whangarei is urging parents and caregivers to keep a better eye on their children after a 15-year-old boy was so drunk police had to take him to hospital.
Dan Cleaver, the sergeant in charge of Whangarei Youth Policing, said the drunk boy was found on Wednesday morning.
On Monday morning four boys, including one aged 10, were caught by police after a crime spree.
"It's a concern when we've got youths of that age out in the wee small hours committing crimes like that or getting that intoxicated," Mr Cleaver said.
"You have to ask the question where are the parents and what are they doing in relation to this?"
The "extremely drunk" boy was picked up while trying to ride a stolen bicycle on Bank St about 8.30am after a concerned member of the public rang police.
Sergeant Peter Hayes said while he should be shocked that a boy was so intoxicated at that time in the morning, he was not surprised as he was aware of similar cases in the district in recent months.
Mr Hayes said the matter has been referred to Child Youth and Family for investigation.
The officers were so concerned about the boy's health and safety, because of his level of intoxication, that he was taken straight to Whangarei Hospital.
"We had serious concerns about his wellbeing."
It was possible he had been drinking through the night - a school night - and the situation was a danger to the boy and the general public, Mr Hayes said.
"Riding a bike in that state is not a safe thing to do."
Police nabbed four boys, aged 10, 11 and two 13-year-olds, about 3am on Monday and discovered the locks of five cars parked near the Warehouse had been forced with a screwdriver.
A rollerdoor at Countdown Supermarket on Okara Drive had also been damaged.
Mr Cleaver, who has been in the role only a matter of weeks, said it was worrying that children were out so late at night committing crimes and getting drunk ahead of a school day.
"One of the issues though is that a lot of these kids don't attend school regularly, if at all. If you are that drunk at 8am you have no intention of going to school," Mr Cleaver said.
"Another problem is getting these children to school and keeping them there."
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