How was an offender with so many charges left unsupervised?

A road safety campaigner is ‘gobsmacked’ that a 15-year-old, who died after a police chase, was not being electronically monitored.

Morocco Tai, who died early on Monday when his stolen car lost control, was facing multiple charges from previous car chases, including unlawfully taking a vehicle, dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, aggravated robbery and unlawfully getting into a vehicle.

In a previous chase he was a passenger in a car that was driven the wrong way up an Auckland motorway.

Road safety campaigner Clive Matthew Wilson, who edits the car review website, says Tai’s bail should have been electronically monitored.

“Tai was clearly a high risk to himself and the community. Yet he was left free to get into trouble again. Surely he should have been bailed to a safe address, and forced to wear an electronic bracelet.  If his bail had been electronically monitored, there’s a good chance he would have been picked up by police when he went missing from his address, before he had a chance to reoffend.”

“I understand the Courts’ reluctance to place young offenders in prison cells, but to let a high risk offender out on bail without supervision was irresponsible, both for the community and for Tai himself.”

Matthew-Wilson says young offenders generally have zero understanding of road safety.

“There’s a nasty combination of youth, poor education, unsupportive friends, access to drugs and alcohol, and boredom. Allowing a young man like this behind the wheel of a car is like handing him a loaded gun.”

“You can’t simply lock up young offenders; there are too many of them and prison tends to increase their chances of reoffending. However, there’s a clear need for supervised monitoring of young offenders who are a high risk.”

“If anything good comes of this tragedy, it should be that future offenders will get the level of supervision they need.”

“What is especially sad is that Morocco Tai was a talented young rugby player, who might have flourished, if he had survived.”

“Often, young offenders will grow up to be functional adults, but first, they have to survive their teenage years.”