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“In sum, at night, young people seek excitement in cities, not safety”: discuss the relationship between young people’s leisure activities, crime and the fear of crime.

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  1. Introduction
  2. Young people's experiences of crimes: The facts
    1. Young people as offenders
    2. Witnessing crime and the victimisation of youth
  3. Reasons for offending: Prosecuting the leisure habit
  4. The reaction of the society and the state to 'the lawless youth'
  5. Conclusion
  6. Bibliography

Young people's behaviours are seen in the society as a catalyser of change, a vector for social and moral evolution. Usually our societies, often driven by a sense of cautious conservatism, are prudent or even resistant towards youth's attitude.
Contrary to the common thoughts youth delinquency has existed for a very long time and has ever raised such an amount of hostile concern among the witness citizens; As Pearson explains it ?youth cultures and youth crimes assume the appearance of ever increasing outrage and perpetual novelty? .He goes on giving us one of the first instance of historic ?young offenders? in London in 1625. Thus youth offending, and the consecutive reactions of the society, are not and have never been recent phenomenon. Last century saw successive waves of concerns of what was seen as youthful lawlessness. Different subcultures that belonged to the young part of the population were described and demonised, where in fact none involved any criminal connection at all. But young people were, and still are seen as disruptive and dangerous. The association of youth and crime seems obvious and results in defiance widespread in the society, becoming progressively a mere prejudice. The different forms of leisure, the most natural behaviours expected from the children, have now often turned in a mean of delinquency.
Is the link between young people's criminality, their leisure and the fear of crime really justified or is the youth just an easy scapegoat?

[...] The official statistics, Criminal Statistics 2000, tend to show that at least one quarter of all recorded crime is committed by ten to seventeen year olds and that over two fifths is committed by those under twenty The recent Youth Survey Board survey showed that the number of criminal offences committed by young people is probably far higher than the conviction rates suggest: 26 per cent of school pupils claim to have been involved in some form of crime. Besides it is interesting to point out the differences existing in gender and age in the youth delinquency. [...]

[...] Among all the surveys conducted with the youth, a common finding regularly appears: most of them recognise that a main element of the attraction for crime lies in the seductiveness, the fun, the excitement which is provided by the illegal act.[11] Such acknowledgement could lead us to admit that petty crime or even more serious offences are viewed by the young perpetrators as a recreational habit! In sum new games to play. Fighting the boredom of the dull, repetitive, daily life as Collison noticed.[12] Anderson and his colleagues found these patterns in their behaviour and drew ?attention to the fun involved in many delinquent acts, vandalism can be seen as a form of creative art work and gang fights, whether real or imagined, occasion excitement and thrill?. [...]

[...] Though this increase started from a relatively low baseline, by the mid-1990s dance-drugs had become an important part of the youth drug scene.?[14] Parker drew an even more worrying feature of what we can call now the youth drug-culture; he concludes that ways in which young people perceive and relate the illicit drugs is changing quite dramatically, and that adolescents now live in a world in which the availability of drugs is unexceptional and, even a normal part of their leisure landscape?[15]. [...]

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