In this article, we answer the question of whether crime is on the rise amongst teens in Yorkshire. Take a look…
In TV programmes and films, Yorkshire is often depicted as a haven of scenic calm with strong communities and peaceful lives. Unfortunately, recent statistics show that this may no longer be the case, as criminal defence solicitors see teens in and out of their doors.
A historic county in Northern England, Yorkshire expertly combines historic castles, stunning countryside, and metropolitan cities, from the county town of York to the bustling city centre of Leeds. Home to businesses such as the Asda Group, BT, Direct Line and Yorkshire Bank, Yorkshire enjoys a decent level of employment and low property prices.
There’s just one problem; it seems that the party may be over for this popular county as crime rates amongst teens rises. Let’s delve into the details…
The Stats for Teen Crime in Yorkshire
In February 2021, it was revealed that North Yorkshire reported 12,002 incidents of violent crime between September 2019 and September 2020. This rise of 4 percent from the previous 12 months was made all the more worrying with the revelation that a significant number of these crimes were committed by teenagers and young people.
Some of the most common crimes committed by teenagers in Yorkshire include:
- Handling stolen goods
- Criminal damage
- Violence against the person
The latter point includes knife crime, something which has increased by a staggering 94% over the past eight years. In fact, a spokesperson for Yorkshire police says that knife crime occurs in the country on an almost daily basis.
The problem has been highlighted to the extent that £4.97 million has been allocated by the government to help Violence Reduction Units in Yorkshire. This figure also included four homicides, an increase from just one in the previous 12 months.
Within Kirklees alone, there were 23 instances of racially aggravated crime, making the town the fifth worse in the whole country.
Philip Allott, Prospective Police Fire and Crime Commissioner of North Yorkshire, says, “The Conservative government is investing significant sums of money into tackling law and order issues, and it is great to see that Yorkshire is benefiting from further funding to support young people at risk of involvement in serious violence, above that already allocated to recruit significantly more police officers.”
Many people feel that the pandemic may have had a hand in the increase in youth crime in Yorkshire. For many young people, the lockdowns meant not being able to see their friends, socialise or even go to school.
There are those who feel that, once the world began to return to normal, young people were expressing their frustration and anger through the committing of crimes.
Tackling Crime in Yorkshire
The government offers several programmes and workshops for young offenders but, for the most part, these are voluntary and many young people simply choose not to go. This could be down to a lack of interest, peer pressure, or a distrust of authority.
One such program is Yorkshire’s In2Change program, which aims to prevent young people from becoming involved in criminal activity and also aims to rehabilitate ex-offenders. The program uses targeted interventions which are created and delivered by ex-offenders and current serving prisoners.
With a lack of success through these programs, some feel that tougher sentences are the way forward. However, others believe that this would be a backward step, something which is somewhat upheld by the facts.
The youth reoffending rate after a stay in prison or a juvenile facility is around 36 percent in the UK. This means that custodial sentences may not be the answer for youth offenders. Rather, there needs to be much more focus on rehabilitation and preventative measures.
Can Parents Help Their Teens Avoid Crime?
We can see that the instances of crime committed by teens in Yorkshire has increased in the past couple of years. Worryingly, a significant portion of the crimes committed are of a violent and sexual nature. There has also been an increase in racial offences.
As we’ve mentioned in this article, there are those who attribute the rise in youth crime to the pandemic, whether this is the case, only time will tell. In the meantime, government programs, education and, of course, parents hold the responsibility for tackling this extremely concerning trend.
If you have concerns about your child being involved in crime, or perhaps your child has been a victim of crime, then speak to them openly and offer support. There are also several online resources for parents who are experiencing difficulties with their teenagers, including: