With teen-on-teen crime on the rise, LAUREN REVANS asks young people in Croydon what impact this has on their daily lives
Rarely a day passes without a newspaper decrying the antisocial or violent behaviour of “young hooligans”. But less attention is perhaps given to the victims of these and other crimes, who are often other young people. The charities Young Voice and Victim Support are calling for a more co-ordinated approach to data collection on crimes against the young in the hope that more effective steps will be taken to reduce the problem. But are young people worried about becoming victims of crime, and what precautions do they take?
It is an issue, especially for me because i work. when i leave work late, sometimes on the train it’s quite worrying Recently it’s got quite bad. I have been approached on the train but fortunately didn’t have anything on me. I reported it to the police and they took a statement, but I never heard back. If you are dressed well, you will be targeted; if you are dressed in a tracksuit, you won’t. You can also get targeted because of your race. Black people target Asians and whites. There tend to be more gangs of black people, and many of them are Muslim converts who try to look bigger by wearing red and white scarves across their faces and going round in big groups.
Matthew is 17
Yes it is a worry – and it has got worse recently. Kids aren’t punished properly at school, but it all starts at home. You notice different behaviour in different schools. Girls are targeted by other girls, and particularly by gangs not in uniform or who don’t go to school. I don’t feel as worried about boys.
Becky is 17
I’m not worried – I can protect myself. I plan my safety ahead – my mum wouldn’t let me out unless I planned my way home. I make sure someone picks me up or I go home early. Things do get nicked at school, but the teachers do nothing about it because we’re not supposed to have mobiles or lots of money with us in the fi rst place.
Chevonne is 14
I think it is worse now than than when I came to the UK a year ago – I felt more groups, and we have not been targeted so far. We have been threatened by a group of 10-year-olds for cigarettes, but their brother or cousin pulled them away in the end. I feel more threatened by black people than others as they tend to go round in gangs.
Eddie is 18
It depends what area you are in and who you are with. If you are in a big group of people, you can sorted. But it can be an issue if you are on your own, especially at night time. I know a few people who have been mugged, and a gang of girls bottled my friends in the park. Gangs tend to be from different schools, and uniforms make it worse. I don’t like going anywhere in my uniform.
Brooke is 14