Sunday, June 15, 2014

Youth crime blamed on poverty

About West Auckland apparently:

Family structures are being broken under economic pressures and the facilities are not there to stop children from falling into a cycle of violence and poverty.
Family structures are not even formed in many cases, let alone broken. If a society is prepared to reward the worst impulses and absence of positive values in people, it can hardly be surprised at the result.

I was asked to speak on Leighton Smith's show last Thursday about youth crime in general (sparked of course by the latest West Auckland incident) and what I thought was contributing and if we could turn the ship around.

I talked about how violent incidents tend to stay within dysfunctional families. In this instance it has spilled over. But the dysfunction has been there for decades. The dysfunction that comes from making children a source of income and allowing them to be held hostage to their parents lifestyles.

I talked about the fact that young men  in prison are much more likely to be fathers. Criminals have more children.

Can we turn it around? We will always have criminality but yes we can reduce the number of children who are being born to parents with no financial or emotional ability to raise them. At least the current government has identified young people as their focus and are making greater demands on them in return for support and that is showing some positive results (albeit the results may be simply correlated.)

But there is no point in treating the whole population to cure a problem that rests in a small minority. We do not need to monitor every child and we certainly don't need to pour more money into every home with young children.

(I have probably mentioned this brief paper previously but the links between crime and welfare have been researched and proven. Worth a read:
" There are many factors contributing to the rise in juvenile violence and crime, from the glorification of violence in the media to the failure of the “war on drugs.” But, today, I would like to focus on a factor that has received far less attention — the relationship between the welfare state and crime." )

1 comment:

JC said...

The first thing you have to do when someone is pimping the poor is check the facts..

And of course we find crime is down, in some cases way down.

I guess the pimps wanted to get in front before the public found out that both sets of parents of the youths are in jail or have charges against them.