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Maha Nasser: Why does some teenagers engage in criminal behaviour?

Maha Nasser
Växjö • Publicerad 20 februari 2022
Detta är en personligt skriven text i Mosaik Vxonews. Åsikter som uttrycks är skribentens egna.

I was walking at seven o'clock in the evening in the center of Växjö, I was stopped by two teenage boys, and I asked them if they needed help. Because that's what came to my mind at that moment. One of them approached me and said in a whisper, "Are you looking for "hashish "? I was surprised by his question and immediately answered: No, I don't smoke! He laughed and said: ``Is smoking forbidden?" Then they left. The situation shocked me, first of all, from the age of the two young men who seem to be between 15-17 in my estimation. Second, is that "hashish" is sold downtown and anyone can get it, and the other thing that pissed me off is what made these two guys think I smoke hashish!

When we look at newspapers and read the news, there are many crimes that are committed, among others: trafficking in contraband, thefts, arson, rape, murder, and assaults on others. When we look closely at these crimes, we discover that most of the perpetrators are young people and adolescents who have not yet reached the legal age. And this raises great questions: why is this particular group willing to commit crimes or choose this path? Of course, there are several reasons that I cannot mention in this article. But the most important of these reasons is that this particular group is being polarized, exploited and recruited by criminal gangs. Because this category is underage, in other words they are not punished by law for the crimes they commit, so they are exploited to carry out illegal tasks. Young people are thus recruited into the wrong and harmful field for the youth themselves and for society. When someone tells you and tries to convince you that you will get paid a lot of money for a task, I bet he will call it a small task and assure you that even if you get caught you will not be held accountable for being underage. What do you expect from a teenager who may suffer a lot of struggles and is looking for the sense of importance as well as get-rich-quick that has become everyone's obsession now. What will he do, will he accept the offer or reject it?


I think a large percentage of them will accept this offer, and once the first mission is successful without hassle, there will certainly be plenty of others. Most dangerous and hardest missions and of course earning a lot of money behind them. Thus, the young person became a criminal and needed a miracle to stop his criminal acts. Although the statistics indicate that during the past ten years, the number of suspects decreased in general in the age groups 15-17 years and 18-20 years and increased in other age groups. But this also indicates that those who started the criminal act at an early age or in their teenage years continued the criminal act until now, so other age groups are increasing. However, the decreased crime rate among adolescents is a positive sign.

There is no doubt that these young criminals are recruits with criminal gangs. This is due to very lax laws when it comes to punishing teenage offenders. So that this indulgence provides an opportunity and develops a fertile environment for the reproduction of criminals and the recruitment of teenagers by criminal gangs. In addition to that, In a survey conducted by Smålandsposten and Vxonews, last summer, on the role of social service and parents' fears of social service, most parents said that the intervention of social service in raising children makes raising children a difficult task in Sweden. Because it is difficult to control children. Some parents mentioned that this has something to do with the tendency of most young people to criminal behaviour. Of course, there is a misunderstanding of the role of social service, and this misunderstanding contributes in one way or another to not raising the child properly, because there is a lack of control by parents over their children. I am not against the role of social service, but on the contrary, such bodies must be present to protect children from domestic violence. But one way or another there is a problem, and what the parents have said must be taken into account, or else the consequences will be dire. On the other hand, there must be awareness of the role of social service, and how the laws work in Sweden. It is necessary to create a balance and hold the stick in half. Because being too lenient is counterproductive, and does not protect children and adolescents and is not in their interest or the public good, but on the contrary. Therefore, there must be deterrent and strict laws when it comes to crimes, disturbing public peace and harming others, unless the percentage of those who join criminal organizations or groups will increase.

Permissive laws are part of the problem but not all of it, and there are certainly many other factors, and it is not only punishment that will solve the problem. Rather, investing and then investing in youth development in the creative aspect and creating platforms for them to express themselves, their identity and what they want. There are many young people who suffer from identity conflict or dual identity and face many psychological problems. If these young people are not contained and helped to overcome their psychological struggles, the results will certainly not be satisfactory. Because they will try to find themselves and perhaps during this journey they will take the wrong path. Therefore, directing, containing and assisting these young people is not the responsibility of the police or politicians alone, but of all of us, from the family to the community to civil society organizations to the state.