Police statistics have shown that knife and gun-related crimes increased by an overwhelming 14 per cent just last year. Youth crime is increasing in the UK which begs the question whether the law is effective for the younger generations in today’s society.
The Youth Justice Statistics, published in January 2018, show that there was a staggering 14,500 new entrants into the Youth Justice System. This alone shows the extent to which youth crimes have increased, emphasising the importance for changes to be made to the law.
There were 40,000 proven offences involving possession of a knife or offensive weapon. Knife crime is often associated with gangs in the UK. Since the release of this report the knife laws in the UK have been changed. Now, anyone that buys a knife online will be banned from having it sent to a residential address. We can only wait to see if this law will be effective in reducing youth crime.
At the time when Amber Rudd was still the home secretary, she created a ban on acid sales to under 18’s. This law may help youth gangs from using acid in their crimes. Although these measures had been taken as a strategy to reducing crime, there are still daily cases of youth crimes being reported. In fact, there has been a known increase in the amount of moped muggings taking place in the UK. This type of crime poses a great threat, as approaching a pedestrian on a motorbike could potentially cause physical harm to the victim. As the criminals are on motorbikes it makes it harder for them to be stopped or identified, given that their faces are always covered with helmets or masks. Therefore, new laws should be put in place in order to try and tackle this particular crime.
There are still youth gangs present throughout Britain. Education on youth crime should be implemented in schools so that young people are aware of the personal risk and consequences involved when being in a youth gang. Early education and awareness of crimes could prevent young people becoming involved in illegal activity. A more proactive approach should be implemented in schools when it comes to educating the youth about the importance of avoiding crime.
Young people are aware that some crimes can be cleared once they turn 18, this may be one explanation for the increase in gangs: kids think that they will not have to become accountable for their actions and will be given a clean slate once they turn 18. However, the law actually states that the likelihood of a youth’s record being erased depends on the seriousness of the offence, the sentence they received and any other possible offenses they may have made. This is something that should be emphasised to young people.
In order to reduce youth crime, the causes of young people committing crimes need to be fully understood. These causes could include peer pressure, family troubles, bullying, financial hardship, as well as drug and alcohol abuse. In addition to this, young people feel astounding pressure nowadays to feel part of a group. Tackling these issues would lower youth crime and encourage young people to create a stable life for themselves.
Arguably, if young people felt more supported, it would deter them from making bad decisions. It is necessary for authority figures to show young people that making the right moral decision will lead to a more rewarding life. If youths understand this, they will be less keen to join gangs or participate in crimes.