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Youth Crimes

Submitted by :

Zunaira Tarif

Riphah International University Islamabad

2013

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Youth Crimes

Acknowledgements
I am heartily thankful to Allah Almighty and my supervisor, whose encouragement, supervision and
support from the preliminary to the concluding level enabled me to develop an understanding of the
subject. Lastly, I offer my regards and blessings to all of those who supported me in any respect during
the completion of this research report.

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Youth Crimes

Abstract
There are a number of concerns about young people and crime as it seems to be at the top of media
reporting and also political agendas. This research analyzes the social factors, economic environment
and family structure which influence youth crime. It will look at key perspectives such as the
sociological, economical views towards youth crime also it will review the evidence to why they get
involved in varies of crimes. This will be done by looking at my primary research. Results show that
all of these factors influence the youth crimes but economic factor highly affect it.

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Youth Crimes

Increase in Youth Crimes the Moral Issue


Keywords: Youth crimes, economic situation, social environment, family structure.

Chapter No.1
Introduction
With the passage of time crime rates are increasing all over the world. Several factors are responsible
for this increase which relates economic, social and family situations and problems. This research will
focus on the area relating to crime amongst youths. It will examine the issue of young people as to why
they may get involved in different crimes. Different research has been undertaken on the causes of
youth criminality as therefore my dissertation will look at different types of concepts that relate to
crime. I will be looking into different theoretical explanations towards youths as this will be explained
and analyzed. Youth and crime is a topic that has hit the headlines today, it is a topic that has always
interested me as I have always wanted to know about criminal behaviors. Many youths commit crimes
as this is my chance to analyze to why they do this, to see the social factors that influence youth crime
or economical factors or may be the family structure. There are many youths that are in education or
working while some of the others are involved within criminal activities, this is to be looked at as to
why this happens. There is a question raised on a report from the youth justice board which asked,
Why is it that some children, as they grow up, become involved in criminal activity, while others stay
out of trouble and respect the law?
Before looking at research about young peoples offending it is worthwhile considering the amount of
crime committed by young people. The first issue to address is exactly what we mean by young
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Youth Crimes

people. The youth justice system deals with young people aged 10-17 only. Children under age 10 are
deemed to be not criminally responsible and unless involved in very serious offending are dealt with
under welfare and child protection procedures rather than criminal justice. Young people aged 18 and
over are treated as adult by criminal justice system and sentenced by adult courts in same way as
adults. The youth justice system then, defines youth crime as that committed by those under the age of
18, but the purpose of our research is to take from 17 t0 27 ages as youth.
Youth crime and a history of young people
There have been complaints and issues made regarding the behavior of young people. There is a
widespread belief that antisocial behavior among children and young people has reached a historically
unprecedented high. According to conations north London, it states that young people are responsible
of 40% of crimes such as theft, burglary, robbery and violence and youth crime and also fear to youth
crime is causing frustration to many of the communities.
Youth crime basically harms communities, creates a culture of fear and also damages the lives of some
of our most vulnerable young people. There are many factors that cause youth crime today as it
changes an individual's life. This can be for example troubled home life, poor attainment at school,
truancy and school exclusion etc. Most of the young people think getting into trouble is part of
maturing/growing up, as they want to test the limits, however, this process often has many questions
raised against it and it is seen as a major problem.
Youth crime is a major issue, today as the public seem to have a fear against it as it is rising. The public
has negative opinions towards it as this means the government will have a huge input within this
matter. This has however set the circumstance for an ever increasing volume of legislation seeking to
adjust and improve society's official response.
One of the youth crimes that has increased today and which is a major issue is violence, according to
telegraph newspaper violent youth crime is up a third. Leapman (2008) suggests that The number of
under-18s convicted or cautioned over violent offences rose from 17,590 to 24,102 - an increase of 37
per cent. This shows this is one of the main crimes in which the youths commit the most and has a
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huge increase towards it. The public was very concerned about this as it is a major youth crime within
their communities,
Leapman (2008) went on and stated that The evidence of rising youth offending comes amid public
concern over youth crime following the murder of Garry Newlove, a father of three who was beaten to
death as he stood up to a street gang
Criminal behavior of young people is an important political issue in the UK over recent years. This
concept follows basically goes on to say that if a young person is prepared to break the law or involved,
then they should be held responsible for their actions and therefore face punishment.
According to the home office research study which was on youth crime: findings from the 1998/99
youth lifestyle survey, states that the most common offences committed by girls under the age of 17
were criminal damage, shoplifting, buying stolen goods and fighting.
There is a comparatively high rate of offending by 14- to 15-year-old boys reflects their involvement in
fights, in buying stolen goods, other theft' and in criminal damage. Roughly one in eight boys of this
age admitted to each.
However 16- to 17-year-old boys showed a similar pattern of offending but were less involved in
buying and selling stolen goods, other theft' and criminal damage. Over a third of offences committed
by this age group involved fighting. There is not much of a different with gender and age groups
committing crimes, this report shows youths under 17 committing common crimes.
There is no single root cause of crime. Crime is primarily the outcome of multiple adverse social,
economic, cultural and family conditions. To prevent crime it is important to have an understanding of
its roots. Causes of crime differ from country to country because of different cultural, social and
economic characteristics.
Economic Situation
Social Environment
Family Structures
Scope of study:
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To analyze the relationship between independent and dependent variables.


To measure how much these factors effect or influence the youth crimes.
To provide the applicable remedies to remove youth crimes in society.

Chapter 2
Literature Review:
The majority of the public tend to have some kind of complaint or an issue regarding the behaviors of
young people today. Youths hang around in their streets and cause trouble for example violence, drugs
etc. The public have a major problem towards this as they are concerned about their local community.
Referring to the public's view on youth crime, Hough, M. (2004) suggests that the survey that was done
revealed that the public have more pessimistic view of youth crime than it is justified by the official
crime statistics.
Hough, M. Et al (2004), Youth crime and youth justice (page 1) London
Youth crime policy has moved to the centre of public attention in the recent years. An increase in youth
crime, stories of parents those are frustrated and seeking for help for their troubled children. Most of
the public have a different view on youth's crimes as they may not have a good knowledge towards it.
Many youths commit crimes within their communities for example street crimes, they may do this due
to peer pressure or they come from a low income poor housing, this view is understandable from some
of the member of publics as majority of them label youths harshly, this has started happening after the
James Bulger murder as the 2 year old was murdered by two 10 year old boys. Public have been more
concerned after this murder as they want the government to toughen up on youths and give them
harsher sentences.
The public are mostly concerned about youths hanging around streets transforming into gangs as they
think that the youths may cause trouble within their community. When discussing publics views on
youth crime Siegel. J.L, (2009:11) suggested that
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As youths move through adolescence, they gravitate towards cliques that provide them with support,
assurance, protection, and direction. In some instances the peer groups provides the social and
emotional basis for antisocial activity, when this happens, the clique is transformed into gangs
This shows that as youths move through adolescence they tend to have a large group, a big gang as it
protects and supports them. The public are not happy with this in their community as when they are in
large gangs it normally means they take part in an anti social activity, violent behavior. According to
the public, gangs is one of the main factor that influences youths crime as they are peer pressured, they
may commit crime due to fear as they are in a gang.
Gangs in local community have a major role play within violent activities as to why this concerns the
public today. Street crimes are mainly held by teen gangs, Klein, M (1971) defines teen gangs as
Any denotable group of youngsters, who are generally perceived as a distinct aggression by others in
their neighborhood, or recognize themselves as a denotable group with a group name, and also the ones
who have been involved in a sufficient number of delinquent incidents to call forth a consistent
negative response from neighborhood residents and/or law enforcement agencies. (Malcolm Klein,
street gangs and street workers 1971)
The anomie and strain theory was developed by Emile Durkheim in division of labour' (1893). In this
book, anomie was disregarded by American criminologists. But in the 1950's Robert K. Merton started
applying this theory to sociology which he wrote about in his essay social structure and anomie'
(Merton 1938). Since then this theory has been used repetitively in various arguments and studies to
display the moral panic' of increased criminal behavior amongst today's youth. This has been
emphasized hugely within the media; by the Home Office statistical data; as well as other professional
organizations.
From a functionalist perspective, Durkheim perceived that society was similar to humans in the way
that in order to function satisfactorily and in perfect harmony, each aspect of society has to fit together
conveniently. He resented the individual perceptions regarding psychological, classical and biological
reasons for criminal behaviors.
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As society exists based on what the media states, it is apparent that people are easily influenced as to
what they perceive to be true. More than usual, the media does not define crime in the same way that
the authorities do such as muggings' which are in fact robberies. But the fact remains that people still
have some kind of understanding as to what these terms mean as the media familiarizes people with
their use of language knowing that the law is sometimes regarded as an unreliable source of
information due to the various injustices that occur. As Hall et al (1978) recognized that the media uses
certain tactics to create moral panic. It is clear that the media is advantageous in being able to clarify
aspects of society to the public by their own means. For example elderly members of society are more
careful about going out alone as they fear they are in danger from the youth.
However perhaps the media influences youth crime to broaden as a label is placed on individuals whom
consequently are made to act in a certain way due to them being known' in this way. Disregarding the
good aspects of youth, the media paves the way of making the younger generation behave in a defiant
way to meet their perceived behaviors by the media. It is realistic to state that the media focuses on the
bad points about the youth rather than praising the good aspects; this is why youth within a certain
community are downgraded according to their social status which is based around where they live and
how they dress.
Media also ignores the fact that young people are also likely to be targeted victims of crimes;
predominantly with the recent advances in telecommunication technology for example mobile phoned
even iPods. This is ignored just when the media targets firm social classes as being delinquent.
Lack of education according to Beatrix Campbell is defiantly crucial to the reviewing of manhood
and its connection to crime as unemployment consigns men to the world of women, it denies those
institutions and activities and which then leads Campbell views to unemployment as being a factor of
unleashing and endorsing extreme forms of masculinity. By this reference Campbell basically means
that due to youths constantly having nothing to do and the pressures of no employment and no income
they resort to violent solutions to the demands of life.

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Chapter No.3
Methodological Frame Work

Increase in Youth Crimes

Independent Variables

Dependent Variable
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Methodology
This study is descriptive study. Here we check the relationship between variables. We took both
primary and secondary data. We are using the primary data for questionnaires.

Sampling:
Research population is educated youth and our sampling frame is the educational institutes of our city.
Sample size n=30. Our sampling is non-probability sampling.
Questionnaire:
Nominal scale is used in questionnaire for personal information. For research purpose the scales used
are ratio scale, category scale and likert scale. The main factors used are economic situation, family
structure and social environment. The sub factors we used are unemployment, inequality, poverty, poor
supervision from school and parents and television.
Data is measured by using frequencies and convert it into simple percentages.

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Chapter No. 4
Results and Discussions
Following tables shows our results which are collected with the help of questionnaires.

Table.1: Main factors to influence the youth crimes


Social

Econom

Family

All of

environme

ic

structu

them

nt

situatio

re

Frequen

n
8

15

cy
Percenta

16.67%

26.67%

6.66%

50%

ge
Graph

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Main Factors
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

Main Factors

Interpretation
Survey results shows that 50% respondents said that all of these factors influence the youth towards
crimes, 16.67% is thought that social environment, 26.67% is thought economic situation and only
6.66% is thought that the family structure is the main factor.

Table.2: Economic situation influences the youth crimes


40%---50%
Frequency
Percentage

10
33.34%

60%---70%
12
40%

Graph

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80%---90%

Above

6
20%

90%
2
6.66%

Youth Crimes

Economic Situation
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

40%---50%

60%---70%

80%---90%

Above 90%

Economic Situation

Interpretation:
40% respondents lies between 60%---70% that economic situation influences the youth crimes in the
society. And 33.34% are thought it is 40%---50% responsible.

Table.3: Social environment forces youth towards crime up to


40%---50%
Frequency
Percentage

11
36.67%

60%---70%
11
36.67%
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80%---90%

Above

5
16.66%

90%
3
10%

Youth Crimes

Graph

Social Environment
15
10
5
0

40%---50%

60%---70%

80%---90%

Above 90%

Social Environment

Interpretation:
36.67% respondents are laying between 40%---50% and 60%---70% that social environment forces the
youth toward crimes.

Table.4: Family structure has negative impact on youth to influence them into crimes
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Frequency
Percentage

40%---50%

60%---70%

80%---90%

Above

23
76.67%

4
13.33%

3
10%

90%
0
0%

Graph

Negative Family Structure


30
20
10
0

40%---50% 60%---70% 80%---90% Above 90%


Negative Family Structure

Interpretation:
The respondents 76.67% are agreed from 40%---50% family structure have negative impact on youth
to influence them into crimes.

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Table.5: Youth crimes increase in society day by day


Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

disagree
Frequency
Percentage

1
1
3.34%

Strongly
agree

2
0
0%

3
0
0%

4
18
60%

5
11
36.66%

Graph

Incrase in Youth crimes


20
15
10
5
0
Strongly disagree Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly agree

Incrase in Youth crimes

Interpretation:
The results of this table clearly show that 60% people are agreed that youth crimes are increasing day
by day in society.36.66% are strongly agreed.

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Table.6: Unemployment leads the youth toward the crime


Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

disagree
Frequency
Percentage

Strongly
agree

1
1
3.33%

2
0
0%

3
1
3.33%

4
10
33.34%

5
18
60%

Graph

Unemployment
20
15
10
5
0
Strongly disagree Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly agree

Unemployment

Interpretation:
Results show that 60% respondents are strongly agreed that unemployment leads youth towards crimes.

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Table.7: Inequality among the people in society causes youth crimes


Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

disagree
Frequency
Percentage

Strongly
agree

1
2
6.67%

2
1
3.33%

3
5
16.67%

4
13
43.33%

5
9
30%

Graph

Inequality among People


15
10
5
0
Strongly disagree Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Inequality among People

Interpretation:
43.33% respondents agree that inequality is the cause of youth crimes.

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Strongly agree

Youth Crimes

Table.8: Poverty is the main reason of youth crimes


Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

disagree
Frequency
Percentage

1
2
6.67%

Strongly
agree

2
1
3.33%

3
9
30%

4
9
30%

5
9
30%

Graph

Poverty
10
8
6
4
2
0

Poverty

Interpretation:
The table shows that 30% respondents are agreed, 30%s answer is neutral and 30% are strongly
agreed.
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Table.9: Bad Company in the school is the base of youth crimes.


Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

disagree
Frequency
Percentage

Strongly
agree

1
0
0%

2
6
20%

3
5
16.67%

4
13
43.33%

5
6
20%

Graph

Bad Company in school


14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Strongly disagree Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Bad Company in school

Interpretation:

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Strongly agree

Youth Crimes

20% respondents are disagreed, 20% are strongly agreed, 16.67%s answer is neutral and 43.33%
respondents are agreed that bad company in the school is the base of youth crimes.

Table.10: Poor supervision from school may be a cause of youth crimes


Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

disagree
Frequency
Percentage

1
0
0%

Strongly
agree

2
7
23.33%

Graph

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3
7
23.33%

4
14
46.67%

5
2
6.67%

Youth Crimes

Poor Supervision from School


15
10
5
0
Strongly disagree Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly agree

Poor Supervision from School

Interpretation:
46.67% respondents are agreed that poor supervision from school may be a cause of youth crime.

Table.11: Television also mislead the youth towards crimes as a mean of adventure
Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

disagree
Frequency
Percentage

1
1
3.34%

Strongly
agree

2
5
16.67%

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3
7
23.33%

4
8
26.66%

5
9
30%

Youth Crimes

Graph

Television misleads the Youth


10
8
6
4
2
0
Strongly disagree Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly agree

Television misleads the Youth

Interpretation:
Results show that 30% respondents strongly agree that television misleads the youth. 26.67%
respondents are agreed.

Table.12: If parents involve in crimes then children would be involve in crimes


Strongly
disagree
Frequency
Percentage

1
1
3.34%

Disagree
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2
24

2
6.67%

Neutral

Agree

Strongly
agree

3
5
16.67%

4
14
46.67%

5
8
26.66%

Youth Crimes

Graph

Parents involvement in crimes


15
10
5
0
Strongly disagree Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly agree

Parents involvement in crimes

Interpretation:
46.67% respondents are agreed that if parents involve in crimes then their children would be involve in
crimes.

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Table.13: Child abuse may be a cause of youth crimes


Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

disagree
1
0
0%

Frequency
Percentage

Strongly
agree

2
6
20%

3
8
26.67%

4
11
36.67%

5
5
16.66%

Graph

Child abuse
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

Child abuse

Interpretation:
The last table of our research shows that 20% respondents disagree, 36.67% agree, 16.67% strongly
agree and 26.67%s answer is neutral that child abuse may be a cause of youth crimes.

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Chapter No.5
Recommendations
To follow these recommendations we can remove youth crimes from the society.

Media should play an effective role and there should be Islamic activities in the society and it

should be controlled by giving them social and moral awareness.


Government should take part to remove youth crime from the society.
Youth crimes can be controlled by improving economical situation of society.
We can remove youth crimes by removing unemployment, inequality from society.
We can also remove the youth crime by facilitate the youth from better educational system.
Youth crimes can also be removed from society by giving strong punishments to criminals.
Youth should have to be guided step by step as grows up, very properly, so that they will not join
bad company, they should be busy such as in studies, in their jobs so that they cannot get time for

doing anything wrong.


Youth crimes can also be controlled by proper check and balance from parents.

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Chapter No.6
Conclusion
There is no single factor that can be specified as the main cause of criminal behavior. This can more
accurately be found in the way that multiple risk factors clustered together can interact in the lives of
some children, while important protective factors are absent. Moreover, causes of crime differ from
country to country, in western world; causes are directly related to the environment of the surroundings.
These surroundings can be of school, home, neighborhood or playground. In contrast, causes of youth
crime in Pakistan are significantly different from that of the western world.
Many things have to be done in order to tackle these problems at the moment, nevertheless not enough
is being done for example looking at more significant problems such as, why youths respond to crime
when they are facing inconvenience, but also problems such as issues which cause these in the first
place for example fatherless youths. Youths and families in this situation need to be taught more about
why youths react to these problems in this way, and how single mothers should deal with them so that
they don't turn to crime. More also has to be done for youths to how to deal with their problems, hence
their reactions to their difficulties basically they need to recognize that they are doing wrong and their
response to their worries by turning to crime is intolerable and that they have to basically be
manipulated through teaching to change their views and actions. In essence typically youths views on
manhood are basically wrong they feel aggression, fighting, causing violence and being involved in
crime is all part of manhood, especially a way of releasing their tensions. This all needs to be reviewed
in order to tackle the problem of youth's culture linked with criminal activities.
After identification of the root causes of youth crime, the remedial measures to control the criminal
activities must revolve around those identified causes. Research results show that all of these factors
influence the youth crimes but economic factor highly affect it. Priority wise solution of the problems
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is the key to success. If the above mentioned remedial measures are taken into account, significant
decrease in crime can be achieved.

Chapter No.7
References

Durkheim. E. (1893) Division of labour


Hough, M. Et al (2004), Youth crime and youth justice (page 1)
http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs/hors209.pdf
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1576076/Violent-youth-crime-up-a-third.html
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_19991205/ai_n13944432/?tag=rbxcra.2.a.11
Klein, M. 1971, Responding to youth crime radical criminal justice partnerships
Leapman, B. (2008) Violent youth crime up a third' Telegraph January, 20.p.3 online
Merton. R. K (1938) social structure and anomie

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