“Criminality among youths: fight against drugs and money culture is crucial”
The dean of the University’s Faculty for Social Wellbeing, Prof. Andrew Azzopardi, says that the fight against drugs and the money culture are crucial for youths to avoid being trapped in the criminal world. A study on the issue shows that if youths enter the vice early in their life, it will be difficult for them to eliminate the addiction.
Three years ago, Malta launched the first strategy on crime prevention, which included recommendations that children and youths avoid a criminal career including with an active collaboration between residents, the Government and private and voluntary organisations.
According to an academic research and the strategy for the period 2017 till 2021, if a person embarks on the road of crime at an early age, the consequences are so big that it is difficult for them to reform themselves.
The research showed that, between January 2007 and July 2015, 875 cases were concluded in Maltese courts involving adolescent crimes, with almost half of the youths involved were aged 15 or just above this age and a quarter were 14-year olds.
The strategy proposed a five-year action plan aimed at reducing crime cases by youths and that they abandon crime for the rest of their lives. The recommendations included more policemen in the community and active collaboration between experts from the Probation and Parole department, the Court, Education, University and Aġenzija Żgħażagħ.
Professor Andrew Azzopardi said that he is saddened that youths are only mentioned in negative aspects as he argues that all youths are good persons. He stated that the reasons why some of them end up in crime are related with education, the family and evolving culture.
“They are either part of the family with a criminal history, or due to pathological reasons or a mix of the two or due to a situation where one has no certain wealth and money and he has to find means to generate them”.
Prof. Azzopardi added that the state and society has to make a serious analysis on why youths are being left out of the current educational and social systems and end up in society’s abyss.
The university academic said that one of the solutions is that the major partners have to work together for a single aim to assist youths avoid drugs that lead to crime and are not influenced by the money culture that may put them in the crime net.