Police prepare teenager-lists as Juvenile crimes up

Police prepare teenager-lists as Juvenile crimes up

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Dhaka, Feb 12 – As incidents of juvenile crime have marked a sharp rise, the Police Headquarters has asked all the police units across the country to prepare the lists of area-based teenage groups indulging in various criminal activities to bring them to the right path through counseling and motivation.It has also directed all the police units to give detailed reports about the status of the previous cases filed in connection with juvenile delinquency and their observations about the reasons behind the rise in such crimes.
Police officers said the existing law should be updated to deal with derailed teenagers as now they cannot take any action against them unless sending them to juvenile correction centres.
However, sociologists and psychologists and crime experts said proper guidance, good parenting, moral education, awareness, and law enforcers’ strong monitoring alongside reducing dropout rate and inequality are necessary to deal with such menace.
According to sources at the Police Headquarters, a good number of teenagers aged between 14 and 18 are engaging in drug addiction, extortion, snatching, stealing, killing, eve teasing, regular fights with opponent groups and creating other social nuisance at different parts of the country, including the capital city. Children from all classes — upper, middle and lower — are engaging in such crimes.
The sources said over a 100 such groups are active in the capital who posses firearms, and sharp and lethal weapons to commit crimes and establish their supremacy. They use Facebook, WhatsApp and other apps to get organised and carry out crimes.
The gang-culture and juvenile crimes came into limelight after some consecutive killings of teenagers by juvenile delinquents last month.
Mehdi Hasan Munna, 15, was killed in the city’s Uttar Khan area by his friends over a previous enmity. A day later, Adnan Kabir, 14, a ninth grader of Trust School and College, was killed by a teenage gang named ‘Disco Boys’ in Uttara.
Besides, Shifatul Islam, 17, a drug addict, slaughtered his elder brother Shihabur Rahman Shihab, 27, in the city’s Adabar area on January 14, while a teenager Kamal Hossain was stabbed to death by his friends on January 15 following a conflict over drug in Shah Ali area of Mirpur and Abdul Aziz, 16, was stabbed to death by a rival gang on January 17 in Tejkunipara area of Tejgaon centring a feud over cricket.
According to police and sources at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, at least 200 adolescents were injured in attacks by their rival groups in the city last year, and some of them succumbed to their injuries.
Under the circumstances, Deputy Inspector General (Crime Management) of the Police Headquarters Humayun Kabir told UNB that they have recently sent letters to all the police units across the country giving some instructions, including enquiring about the area-based juvenile groups and monitoring investigations of previous cases related to juvenile crimes filed with different police stations across the country.
“We’ve also instructed them to talk to local juvenile groups to find out reasons that are encouraging teenagers to get involved in various crimes,” he said.
Besides, the DIG said local police stations have been instructed to motivate adolescents, who are already involved in crimes, to return to the right path in coordination with community policing, public representatives and guardians and teachers.
Contacted, Prof Zia Rahman of Dhaka University’s Criminology department said rapid transformation of society caused by urbanisation, modernisation, change in people’s finical condition, delicate family bondage, growing tendency of involving in romantic relations, increase in dropout rate, technology abuse and the lack of its regulations are the major factors behind the rise in juvenile crimes.
To overcome the problem, he said awareness campaign should be launched by the government, NGOs and voluntary organisations against the juvenile crimes alongside taking steps to check dropout rate. “We’ve to minimise study load of students, give them relief with positive recreational facilities.”
Besides, families will have to take the first steps to ensure a healthy environment for their children alongside giving them moral teaching to get rid of juvenile crimes.
Former information commissioner and professor of Dhaka University Sociology department Sadeka Halim thinks extreme inequality in society, excessive use of technology and net, lack of proper guidance by family and teachers, availability of drugs and hunger for exercising power by teenagers are among the root causes behind the growing trend of juvenile delinquency.
Prof Muhammad Kamal Uddin of Dhaka University Psychology department said, “There’s no immediate remedy to the problem. We’ve to take long-term steps to ensure a healthy environment and quality education for children with the scope of engaging in creative, intellectual and recreational activities.” – UNB

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