What happened in 1983?
Today Bailey Junior Kurariki, the country's youngest convicted killer, makes his second appearance before the Parole Board. What are his chances of release this time? Not looking good.
It's a good month to be thinking about homicide. A few days ago, the Herald ran the headline Homicide rate soars - but is it? There have been seven homicides so far this year. A few days ago, that was "nearly one every two days". Now, of course, the homicide rate has dipped to just one every three days.
For a sensible perspective, I got the Sensible Sentencing Trust. I was surprised that they had no actual list of this year's homicide victims, but they do have a 2007 murder map. And they also have this graph, which plots homicides and violent offences in New Zealand since 1952.
What happened in 1983 to precipitate the huge increase in violent offences? It wasn't "P" or party pills. It wasn't Rogernomics and it wasn't global warming. So what was responsible for the sudden surge in violent crime? I have no idea. Do you?
Fortunately, "the rising tide of murder and mayhem" seems to be levelling off...