Britain today is being faced with an uproar of crime-knife and gun crimes have become so apparent among its young people. Crimes committed by young people range from petty to serious often leading to injuries, detention, exclusion, prison and death. Lots of reasons have been put forth to the possible causes of the escalation of knife and gun crime in the United Kingdom; fall in the structure of the family unit and young people being exposed to media and technological hype.
Everyone has stepped in and they are doing their part, the government especially, is retracing it steps and has set up several initiatives and priorities that favour young people in participation of positive activities, mentoring programmes, help lines geared at young people run by young people and youth clubs are at large.
Looking back in the day, as a young person, it was increasingly hard to commit crimes and offences because if it weren’t the next-door neighbour, it would be 'nosy Aunt Nora' or the 'ever-watchful Uncle Thomas' who would tell on you to your parents or carers. Whatever happened to the nosy Aunt Noras’and Watchful Uncle Thomas’ of this world? They haven’t disappeared or have they. The family structure has dwindled down to a small family unit that often encompasses parent (s) and their children. There is sometimes access to Nan or Granddad but this connection is slowly lost as a young person grows and prefers to hang out with their peers than with the ‘old cronies.’
Then the single parent card has been raised on several instances as the main apparent cause for young people taking the downhill road of offences but even that is debateable. The young people of today still want to be heard, we all remember those days of puberty when one realised that the world was their oyster, it was cool to have parents but not to be seen with them. We still remembered to be respectful, perhaps technology was so bland those days, things like websites to post ‘happy slapping pictures’ on were not in existence, in fact you would be considered a 'geek' if you knew how to work a computer. The telephone was rationed, because there were no mobile phones, you had to speak on the phone while your parent (s) listened in on the other line at times, so it ended up not being worth it and we looked like young people but still felt cool, we didn’t prep ourselves up to look and dress like ‘Paris Hilton’ or like ‘Fifty Cent.’
But times have changed and technology is here to stay. Our own children and young people now intimidate us. Young people can now ask an older person to get off the seat on a bus or train for them to sit and the older person will rise to the occasion in fear that they may be ‘knifed’ or shot to death. It seems cool for young people to do anything-drugs, sex, murder,theft among others but why should that be the case? Somewhere between the ages of 10 and 16, have parents cocooned in a shell and prayed that whatever shortcomings in their children’s behaviour, is a stage that will slowly phase out? Parenting and raising our children is a full time job.
Everyone in the community has a responsibility to offer guidance and support to young people without seemingly being overbearing or critical. These young people are willing to engage and are willing to live in the real world but they are perhaps afraid of the reprisals of ‘getting real’ because they will have to work for a living instead of ‘tiffing’ (Stealing) or face the consequences like go to prison for offences they have commited which has an upside to them-education is free, play stations are available, gyms are within access and perhaps their ability to polish their criminal acumen is possible. Thinking back again, which holds the most appeal?