Youth crime in the years of crisis. An interview of detective Pelekasis Nikos in the newspaper “Democracy”.
Several times I have been asked by parents to investigate delinquent behavior of their underage children, to check activities during their absence from home or the behavior of students in Greece and abroad. Until a few years ago, violent behavior was not in such large numbers materially motivated. They were mainly oriented towards fights in places such as bars or nightclubs, due to misunderstandings or love affairs.
Nowadays, a large number of violent behaviors are motivated by economic reasons. Gangs of minors robbing houses or stealing objects of value from passers-by and peers are now commonplace, even in non-deprived areas of Athens.
However, this does not imply the absence of non-monetary violence. If in the former category the number of incidents has increased, then in the latter it is certain that a wider and more complex range of offending behavior has emerged, with an increased degree of violence, as confirmed by both the domestic and international press.
The greatest evidence of the above are incidents of violence by young people against their parents, teachers or classmates. In Greece, there has not yet been a homicide of this type, as recently occurred in a school in the USA. However, the visibility of such an act often overshadows the thousands of incidents of violence and beatings of young students, which are now a common occurrence in schools.
Young people wandering around neighborhoods finding an excuse for fights and group clashes between fans of teams on and off the pitch are sometimes the modern forms of this type of violence. However, it is not only the clash itself that should frighten us, but the fact that there is often a whole, war-like, preparation for the planning and execution of the act.
To a large extent, computer games and films may be responsible for all this, as they have gradually cultivated young people’s attitudes to violence, making it easier to carry out violence. We must not forget, however, that a large number of these children have themselves been victims by parents or elders before becoming perpetrators themselves. In any case, the recent incident in a US school confirms that modern societies have failed in the management of child violence, as they have turned more towards criminal retribution and less towards the prevention of offending behavior.
Nikolaos Pelekasis was trained in Greece and abroad in group and individual safety and served in intelligence agencies.
Youth delinquency in the years of crisis. By Detective Nikos Pelekasis. Published in the journal Democracy.
No. Sheet 371
10 March 2012