The Government is set to unveil a package of measures aimed at dampening a youth crime spike in Auckland.
The move comes as ram raids have increased more than 500 per cent, with 357 having occurred across the country this year.
The new package follows the Government's changes to the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act to make it easier for police to seize criminals' illicit assets being hidden by associates.
The package, called Better Pathways, will be detailed by Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Police Minister Chris Hipkins in Auckland today.
The Herald understands it will include more than $600,000 of funding for a cross-agency South Auckland initiative discouraging youth offending to expand into West Auckland.
The Kotahi te Whakaaro approach, created by the South Auckland Social Wellbeing Board, brought together members from police, Oranga Tamariki, Counties Manukau Health, education, Kāinga Ora, the Ministry of Social Development, local non-government agencies and Te Iwi o Ngāti Kahu.
It was designed as a response to vehicle-related offending among young people.
Over the past four months, 52 children under 14 years old who were apprehended for such offending, including fleeing police or ram raiding, were referred to Kotahi te Whakaaro so timely support could be provided.
Of the 52, only 19 were in education, but six had been supported back into school through the initiative. Only two of the children hadn't been exposed to family harm.
So far, there had been new reports of concern from Oranga Tamariki for four of the children, while 13 of the 52 had reoffended.
It was understood the Government would pivot existing youth crime prevention funding, in addition to $600,000 from the Ministry of Social Development, to extend the approach to West Auckland, where all children under 14 who committed serious vehicle-related offences would be referred to Kotahi te Whakaaro from mid-October.
Support for the South Auckland programme would also be continued.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern referenced Better Pathways in yesterday's post-Cabinet press conference, saying Auckland's youth crime spike was "unquestionably" a problem that needed addressing, even though youth crime nationally had decreased over the last decade.
Documents recently obtained by the National Party under the Official Information Act revealed ram raids had increased by roughly 520 per cent in the first six months of 2022 compared to the first six months of 2018.
Ardern said there had been 357 ram raids so far in 2022, with some businesses being targeted multiple times.
However, she added there had been 225 prosecutions and 94 youth referrals with respect to those ram raids.
According to the Ministry of Justice's youth justice indicators summary report from December, overall offending - meaning those proceeded against by police for an alleged offence - had reduced by 65 per cent for children (aged 10-13) between 2010/11 and 2020/21.
For those aged 14 to 16 years old, offending had decreased by 63 per cent over the same period.
In both age groups, Māori offending rates were higher than that of Pasifika and Pākehā children and young people.
Ardern cited Kotahi te Whakaaro, saying it would be the type of initiative that would see Government investment.
It comes as five Auckland retailers were targeted by thieves on Sunday night.
First up, toy store Toyco on Wagener Place in Mt Albert was broken into around 10.42pm.
The store owner said they were alerted to the break-in by a security company, which said a glass-break detector had been activated.
With the number of burglaries and ram raids plaguing the city, they said they were facing staffing issues.
"From a business owner, I guess it makes it harder for us to staff the shop with people who are a little more afraid of things that are going to happen."
Later in the night, police were called to Curry Masala Indian Takeaway on Chapel Rd in Flatbush at about 12.20am.
Offenders gained access by smashing glass at the entrance. It is unclear what was stolen.
A police spokesperson said a person had been arrested following this break-in.
About 2.36am, police attended a burglary at a retail store on Golf Rd in Titirangi.
A witness said two vehicles remained parked outside the pharmacy at the time. It was unclear what had been stolen.
The police helicopter was then seen hovering around the Mad Butcher on Stoddard Rd in Mt Roskill after it was broken into about 3am.
Finally, shortly after 4am, police were called to Michael Hill on King St in Pukekohe after a window had been smashed.