EducationExperts agree that education needs to play a role, 'Many young people that we work with don't always appreciate the dangers of carrying knives or fully understand the law,' says Jane Edmonds from Rainer Crime Concern. 'It's simply not enough to tell young people to stop carrying knives, we need to give them strategies, tactics and confidence.'
Care'We criminalise young people and give up on them, but every human being feels hurt sometimes. But to be honest, I don't know what the solution is. Society has created this underground culture, which has thrived with the break-up of families, poverty and deprivation. Young people want respect, need to make money and want to belong, so a gang is the perfect answer and the only answer in the current culture.'
MoralsAdolescent psychiatrist Cathy Smith says: 'Some of the young people that commit violent crime come from a family where domestic violence is the norm, they may not understand that violence is wrong. Or they may have been treated violently themselves. And knowing right from wrong is a big part of this problem - and it's all of our problem. Years ago God, the Church and family elders told us what was acceptable behaviour. These days we don't know what the moral guidelines are, for example, some people wouldn't dare park in a disabled parking space, whereas others think it's fine if there are no drivers with disabilities around that need the space. But unless there is something written down that everyone understands and agrees with then we don't know where to start.'
CommunicationJane, Morris and Cathy all agree that communication is the first step to resolving problems and the big gap between young people and adults. 'In the Med parents eat with their children and go out with their children at night, the whole family, including the grandparents dress up and go for a walk through the town, people know each other and talk to each other, they celebrate and value children and young people - I think we could take a leaf out of their book. The first step is to start talking to your children and young people,' says Cathy.
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