Violent crime amongst youth is on the rise and websites like Facebook and YouTube are to blame; according to a report to be presented at a conference in Brisbane tomorrow.
Violent crime amongst youth is on the rise and websites like Facebook and YouTube are copping the blame according to a report to be presented at a conference in Brisbane tomorrow.
The report, which analyses data from four states also claims a marked increase in offences by girls and by children of both sexes under the age of 14.
The number of violent crimes committed by offenders aged between 10 and 19 in the four states – NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia – rose from 17,944 in 1996-97 to 23,382 in 2005-06. Violent crimes were listed as homicide, assault, sexual offences, robbery and extortion.
The proportion of violent young offenders who were female rose from 23 per cent to 26 per cent in the same period, and from 30 per cent to 37 per cent for those aged between 10 and 14.
Those in the Tween age group are also becoming more violent. Boys between 10 and 14 were responsible for 519 in 100,000 violent crimes in 1996-97, rising to 547 per 100,000 in 2005-06.
The number of violent crimes committed by girls between 10 and 14 also rose from 166 in 100,000 to 229 over that time. The rate of assaults by girls in the younger age bracket went up by 60 per cent in Queensland, 45 per cent in NSW and 36 per cent in Victoria.
Paul Mazerolle, director of Griffith University’s Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, who compiled the figures said: “We are seeing consistent trends indicating young people are becoming more violent.”
He also indicated that websites such as YouTube and Facebook have changed the way young people interact and that sometimes their quest for status can end badly…
“It’s generated competition and encouraged them to look at ways of gaining status,” Mazerolle said. “Young people want to demonstrate superiority and toughness. That’s why we’ve seen a proliferation of things like the videotaping of violent confrontations.”