PACHU MENON, MARGAO
The armed assault and dacoity case reported from Guirdolim in South Goa last Sunday portends a dangerous trend wherein more and more youngsters are being drawn into a life of crime unmindful of the consequences. With the arrest of the two youth accused for their complicity in the offence the police could well pat itself for the breakthrough achieved in record time. But the alarming rise in the involvement of juveniles in various crimes should caution the police against this new ‘phenomenon’ observed recently wherein young lads barely out of their teens are rubbing shoulders with more seasoned criminals in pursuit of a career which could only lead them to a life behind bars. Yet, this has not deterred the youngsters from dabbling in petty crimes to graduate into more sinister ones that mark their initiation into the major league. From drug peddling to daring daylight robberies, adolescent crime involvement is indeed assuming alarming proportions. It is observed that experiences in adolescence may have a lasting impact on adulthood, and when these encounters leave impressions that are criminal in nature in the minds of the youngsters, a retarded psyche is what they will be bestowed with. Youth crime is an inevitable part of the modern society and continues to haunt it with a regularity that is worrisome. Moreover, when police reports suggest that those apprehended for the crimes are from well-to-do families and don’t have the poverty factor to lament about, it becomes all the more confusing. Dazzling lifestyles have been the bane of the modern youth. A penchant for living life in the fast lane has often seen youngsters turning to a life of crime to give wings to their fancies. Unknowingly they chart a course which leads to an uncertain future. With many young offenders becoming habitual criminals, tackling youth crime is now an imperative. Although many such reasons have been proffered for the tendency shown by youngsters to embark on a life of crime, let us admit that there has been a lack of sincere efforts at understanding and preventing youth crime. Much has been heard about juvenile delinquency and the concerns shown to arrest the malaise. But what about crimes by youngsters in the age bracket of 20/21 years!