Figures reflect growing violence in girls

Posted by on Apr 7, 2012 in Women Behaving Badly | No Comments

Figures reflect growing violence in girls

By Lea Stewart

One in five people arrested for violent offences in Dunedin this year has been female, police said yesterday after recent violence in the city.

Police have apprehended 698 people in Dunedin this year for violent offending – 130 (19%) were females.

Almost half of the females arrested were aged under 20. In contrast, a third of male offenders fell into that category.

Groups of girls have come to the attention of Dunedin police twice in the past five days.

On Friday night, an intoxicated teenage girl was allegedly assaulted by two other females in George St. On Tuesday afternoon, two girls, aged 14 and 15, were charged with assaulting police after an unruly scuffle with up to four officers in the Octagon. Police were called to the scene after reports a group of intoxicated girls was smashing bottles.

Inspector Don Boyd said times had changed since he joined the force.

“Thirty years ago, when I joined the police, it was unheard of to see a woman involved in a fight. It just didn’t happen. I’ve never arrested a woman for an assault.

“But society has changed and females involved in violence is part of that change,” Insp Boyd said.

“Women are showing in the statistics, but men are still the main offenders for these type of offences.”

Youth works spokesman Warren, who asked for his surname not be printed, believed the figures were under-representative of how many violent women there were in the community.

Warren has worked with youth for the past 15 years.

“We see a lot of domestics in the court where it’s male assaults female. In a great deal of those cases, the woman has actually been the aggressor first. The male has retaliated and he’s got pinged for it,” he said.

He also believed girls were becoming involved in fights and violence because “they can”.

“Things have changed. Girls are walking around in these big groups. They’re getting drunk, they egg each other on and they think they’re bulletproof – just like guys.”

He was aware of one case where a 15-year-old girl viciously assaulted a younger boy she believed was teasing her younger brother.

“A few years ago, that wouldn’t have happened. Society says it’s OK, and a lack of discipline doesn’t help.”

Thursday, 2-September 2004

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