Britt de Gier, The Netherlands
Crime is increasing in The United States. The alarming fact about the increase is the large percentage of young people that are involved in those crimes. One in four 11 to 16 year olds have committed an offence, for example shoplifting or assault. Is it that they get lost in the big bad world and dig the pleasure that the crime brings, or is it their surroundings, their parents or friends? The teens are not adults yet. They are not capable of handling difficult situations as mature people. The government came up with a possible solution. They introduced social behavior program and curfew orders for young people.
The Youth Justice Board did a study with over 5,000 schoolchildren. The outcome was shocking. In almost every category of crime, children are involved more and more. In the last year, the percentage rose from 22% to 25% of the proportion of children who committed an offence. A few examples of the biggest increases; handling stolen goods (19% -> 25%), physical assault (24% -> 31%) and thefts from school (15% -> 23%).
The same 5,000 children answered a survey about right and wrong behavior. These results are also horrifying. Not even a third of the children frowned at under-age drinking. 30% approved the fact of carrying a knife as a weapon, that is 1,500 of the 5,000 children. Less then a third of the children disapproved of hitting someone when they are insulted. The spokesman of the Youth Justice Board says; ”The results are concerning and saddening, but not surprising.” An important possible reason for these results might be the decreasing age of the youngsters becoming young adolescents.
There are several different reasons for teens getting involved in crimes. If we discuss the possible reasons we might understand them better and we could give a helping hand. A very common problem are economic troubles. Children who grow up in poor circumstances want to better their life standards quickly. They usually are not well educated, so they take the ”easy” route, crime.
Psychological problems push the youth to the path of crime, for example a troubled childhood when they have seen violence and try to hide their weakness behind the crimes they commit.
People who are being discriminated against in this world often show frustration and anger. They express their feelings on the society in the form of crime.
Young people are the future of every nation, so it is extremely important that they are guided on the right route. Youth crime is very dangerous, but attractive sadly for a lot of teens. It is a hard job to keep every single one of them on the right track. Some teens have issues with controlling their anger or putting their energy towards positive things, so they can contribute in the society. Youth crime should be taken seriously. Preventative programs are necessary, otherwise it will bring a nation to its knees.