So what do we really think about young people and crime? Entering the term ‘youth crime’ into google brings up an interesting first impression of how skewed this representation can be, whether it is accurate or not. Four out of the five showcased examples of google images comprise young-looking people standing on street corners in hooded tops, their faces obscured like dangerous animals. In addition to media warnings about the potential rises in crime due to funding cuts, the search results also highlight the term ‘juvenile delinquency’, further stretching our definitions of what crime constitutes – widening this from illegal behaviour to, well, standing on street corners.
Parents take note, there is also useful ‘advice’ from a government site on how to prevent your child from getting involved in crime, including detail on your responsibilities to stop this from happening! Mercifully there is also a search result for research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for understanding the triggers behind why young people offend, but that will do little to allay the fears of parents and other members of the community who now often use the internet as a key reference point. Frightening stuff, literally!