Fourteen-year-old facing 53 charges in Christchurch

The teen appeared in Christchurch Youth Court on Thursday. Photo / Supplied

A 14-year-old has admitted 48 charges, some of violence, following a crime spree across Christchurch.

The boy was one of four youths arrested late last month following reports of car thefts and assaults across the city.

While he initially faced 81 charges, 28 were withdrawn when he made his second appearance on the matters in Christchurch Youth Court today. He did not enter pleas to three charges and denied two.

The charges that were admitted included assault with intent to injure, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, aggravated robbery and theft.

Judge Sarah Lindsay said a Family Group Conference would take place in relation to some of the offending, which occurred over a short period.

Family members of the youth were in court to support him and a youth advocate said a psychologist report was being prepared.

He was remanded into custody ahead of his next court appearance on November 29.

Following the arrests, Christchurch Metro area commander Lane Todd said a helicopter had been used to assist police with apprehending the youths.

“We’re pleased to have quickly and comprehensively tackled what has been a significant run of offending by a small group of young people,” he said in a statement.

“However it’s hard to see these apprehensions as anything more than an inevitable end to a story that started long before any offence was committed.”

Todd said it was rare to see youth offenders come “out of the blue”. He encouraged communities to reach out to police if they saw concerning behaviour among young people.

“Tackling this issue takes a multi-agency approach, with prevention at the heart of any solution, along with alternative resolutions for offenders to break a cycle of offending,” he said.

Police were working with partners including Oranga Tāmariki and the Ministry of Justice to address the drivers of the young people’s alleged offending.

“Police’s role is very clear: we have an obligation to the community, and we will respond, investigate, apprehend, and hold people to account.”

Some of the crimes committed by the teen in court were filmed and circulated on social media.

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