Friday, May 16, 2008

Where Have All The Good Girls Gone?

20.1% of crime in England and Wales is committed by girls aged 10-17. That's 59,000 crimes during 2006-07.

An interesting set of figures, but as always there are lots of factors that the Youth Justice Board have to take into account when measuring these stats against the previous year/s.

The biggest question is, are girls becoming more violent? Or is crime just reported in such a way the girls are coming out worse off? Or have Child Protection Laws gone so AWOL that we (youth workers, PCSO's, teachers and the like) are no longer allowed to discipline without being arrested themselves? Has gender equality caused girls to think that being violent is an easy solution?

Are there also issues of mis-diagnosed ADD and ADHD? I strongly believe that we too quickly place a label on our children, and do not help the parents to cope.

Apparently the Youth Justice Board are on it, targeting 'high-risk girls'. But what about supporting single parents, or early intervention at school? I don't think that targeting is key, I think that we too often target individuals, when group and gang mentality is clearly a lot stronger in this country.

We also called 999 for no apparent reason, are scared of gangs of kids hanging out together, with no rational reason.

20.1% is too much... prevention programmes aren't reaching enough, but they are doing a brilliant job with those who they are reaching. There are lots of factors pertaining to the rise in crime in girls, but it is rising...