What is Youth Crime?
It's a crime commited by young offenders.
When I think about youth crime, the first question I would ask is: Why is the number of violent incidents between teenagers increasing?
Is poverty to blame? Or the bad parenting? Or maybe it's both?
Financial difficulties don't give much choice to parents, but to work longer hours just so that they can put food on the table. In the meantime, they're not exactly aware of their children's doings; they either don't have time or the capacity to understand.
Young people who live around council estates are the more vulnerable ones as they are more deprived of youth services. I think this because there aren't enough facilities to occupy them, such as: youth centres, sports arenas, lesiure centres, libraries etc. (I think this as I don't see many around where I live... most of them are closed because there is not enough funding to keep them)
Politition's attitude towards youth crime is not helping much either - blaming social media instead of real factors behind it.
The young people who live in poverty-stricken areas can easily misjudge the situation they live in and end up doing the wrong thing with the wrong type of people.
When they don't have the basic support they need, it's no use in telling young people that carrying a weapon or being part of a gang is not the right way to do things. Imagine one poor household; the mother is working long hours just to pay the rent and put food on the table as there is no father around. If the mother is working night as well as day, the child/children will not be supported emotionally as well as mentally and can easily get trapped in the wrong crowd. This is because there is no role model to show love, affection and support, showing them what is right and what is wrong.
The majority of young offenders come from abusive household; parents are drug addicts, alchoholics and - in some cases - themselves involved in crimminal activity/gang crime.
60% have some kind of difficulties such as speech, language and learning difficulties. They are angry, isolated, scared, lonely and feeling that there's no one to turn to.
The lack of discipline also has an negative effect on youngsters. So does poor parent -child interaction,bullying at the school or peer presssure.
Every week we hear sad things on the news; stabbings, gun crime etc. This is horrid and has to stop. So many young lives have been ruined...
In so many London estates, safety is the big issue; people feel unsafe because there isn't enough protection from the police force. "Funding crisis" left police forces inadequate.
What Can Be Done?
- Crime Prevention Programs (CPP)
- Training and Educational Programs (with individual approach)
- Support for the Families
- Not too hard punishments for minor crimes - that way they can be helped instead of pushed out (However, I'm a bit sceptical with this, because for some this can give the wrong idea; the idea that they can get away with things easily. In that case, maybe not too hard punishments for the first time round, but go harder on them, sort of, the next time if they do do it again...)
- Job Opportunities (if they get released they have something to go to instead of the gang)
- Youth Centres
I think these are (some) of the best options because they help the young offenders move away from "the dark side" (the gangs) and most of these encourage them to move on in life (getting job experiance will help them get jobs..) and, well, making their lives better I suppose.