Time for ‘hoodies’ to stop getting the cold shoulder
Our series of articles by aspiring young journalists has moved to a new Saturday slot. Here, Poppy Wall talks about young people and crime.
IF I walked into the shop, or down the street, with a group of friends who were all wearing “hoodies”, what would you think?
Would you feel threatened, or maybe even a little bit scared?
Or would you be reasonable and think maybe we have our hoods up because it’s raining outside? Or we are in a group because, as our mother always tells us, “there’s safety in numbers”?
30% off on our collection range and other selected fabrics. alternatively call 809887 and we will bring our samples to you for our friendly hassle free quote.
Contact: 01472 809887
Valid until: Saturday, July 13 2013
A lot of people nowadays have labelled young people as “troublemakers” or “thugs”, and have started to believe that they are the main perpetrators of crime.
But surely an entire generation cannot be criminals? In fact, it is only a small minority of young people that are criminals and older people are just as responsible for the country’s crime rates.
So why is it mainly young people that have gained the bad reputation?
In the London riots, it seemed that young people were mainly responsible for the chaos that ensued in August of last year.
However, it was estimated that only 22 per cent of the rioters were less than 18 years old, meaning that the remaining 78 per cent were adults. What I would like to know is, why young people are labelled as “thugs”; why the word ‘youth’ has gained negative connotations and why young people are seen as the “problematic generation”? Britain actually has one of the lowest child crime rates in Europe and yet most people in our population still tar every young person with the same brush and regard us as the downfall of our country.
Instead, young people, although admittedly the wrongdoer in some situations, are also victims of crime. However, the nation sees young people as people to be wary of, rather than the victims which they often are. It was found, though, that young people, aged 16 to 25 were the most frequent victims of crime with over 29,000 victims being in that age group last year.
Sad as it may be, young people are mostly targeted for crimes because of their age and their youthfulness gives them a certain degree of vulnerability which criminals take advantage of.
Young people have been given such a negative image, despite also being victims of crime, that it has started to affect them.
A young person, such as me, can sit on a bus and nobody will sit next to them for fear that they are “dodgy”.
Older people avoid younger people, and even complain about them walking around in a large group of friends, so much so that now, in our local shopping centre, large groups of youths are broken up into twos or threes, to make the “problem” more manageable.
In a shop near the college that I attend, no more than three school children in uniform are allowed in at one time.
The rules that some establishments have created are supposedly to deal with the rising levels of youth crime. However, these rules set an extreme double standard. Ask yourself, would a large group of middle aged people be split up?
Just because a group of friends are together doesn’t mean they are making an elaborate plot to shop lift, they might just be having fun, and enjoying their youth. Is that too much to ask?
It is sad that younger people are seen as a problematic generation, that we have been stereotyped so negatively and that we are sometimes overlooked as victims of crime. Just because we are young does not mean that we are wild or rebellious. And just because I wear a hoodie in a shop, it doesn’t mean I’m “up to something”.
With this unpredictable British weather, it’s possible that I might just be cold …