‘Youth Perpetrate Over 65 Percent of World Crimes’
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Statistics indicated that over 65 percent of crimes in the world are committed by youth, the board chair of Youth Crime Watch The Gambia, has revealed.
Ibrahim Ceesay, said crimes such as civil unrests, Internet fraud, cyber crime, drug trafficking, terrorism and militancy are perpetuated by world citizens classified as youth.
“In The Gambia, young people constitute the majority of both victims and perpetrators of crime,” he added.
The youth activist was speaking on Thursday May 24, during the opening ceremony of a three-day conference on crime prevention organised by Youth Crime Watch (YWC).
YCW is a Gambian Youth Organisation, with a mandate to promote peace and fight crimes in the country.
Held at the Tango conference hall in Kanifing, the training brought together over fifty youth leaders, including journalists and security officers.
It was held under the theme Combating Crime Through Youth Empowerment and was sponsored by the U.S Embassy in Banjul.
The conference was convened at a time when rising criminal activities prompted The Gambia government to declare Operation Bulldozer, meant to combat crime.
However, although crime prevention is traditionally seen as the sole responsibility of the police, there are very clear limits to policing as some violent crimes take place in the home.
Ceesay’s words: “The core function of the police is law enforcement and there is often a lack of understanding of the social aspects of crime prevention. Law enforcement, while absolutely crucial for maintaining order and safety in communities, does not deal with the cause of crime.”
In this regard, he opined that there is need to put into consideration a social crime prevention approach, which advocates for understanding crime in a social context and focuses on addressing some of the endemic causes of crime.
“Crime and violence have a significant relationship with poverty, lack of economic opportunities and education,” he said.
“Therefore, it is of critical importance to address not only the symptoms of poverty, crime and violence, but also to analyze and address the underlying structural causes of these problems. Moreover, fighting crime diverts limited economic resources from other critical human development sectors such as health and education,” he said.
He also decried lack of community policing, which he believes results in an environment that is conducive to criminal activities.
To address this, a developmental approach to crime prevention is key to creating a safer and crime free communities.
Ceesay thus calls for strategies and interventions that should be aimed at reducing the levels of crime that is, the factors that increase the likelihood of pushing or pulling young people into a life of crime, and more importantly, building the resilience of young people in adverse circumstances to crime and violence.
“It is my conviction that this conference will facilitate us to channel a way out negatively to positive innovation and creative thinking that will provoke social economic development of our great nation, The Gambia,” he said
Author: Alieu Darboe