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Youth criminals: From which class do they come and what does the police do against them? - A project -

Essay 2006 13 Seiten

Anglistik - Sonstiges



I. Introduction

II. Literature Review

III. Methodology

IV. Findings & Interview

V. Conclusion

I. Introduction

It is about eight o’clock in the evening. Three teenagers at the age of fifteen have just come out of the cinema. They cross the street and go to the bus station, because they want to go home. At the bus station, they meet another group of teenagers who are at the same age. One of these teenagers asks the other group to give them some cigarettes. As the others refuse his demand, one of them is hit on his head. The others try to kick in his stomach and even hit him with a stick which one of them had hidden behind his back. After the boy has beaten to the ground, his friend is asked for his age. Not waiting for his answer, he is hit in his face. Then the group who has just been beaten manages to escape and runs back to the cinema to call their parents so that they can pick them up there and take them home.

An hour later, the same violent group is in the city. There, they meet another group of teenagers again. One of the violent youths asks one of the other group for cigarettes and money again. As the teenagers refuse to give them what they wanted - like the other group had done before - one of the violent youths takes the boy’s arm so that he cannot escape. He hits him in his face and pushes him into a corner. There he is beaten by the others until he is lying on the floor, not moving anymore. An adult comes and tries to help the teenager, but he is threatened with a knife by the violent group and is instructed to go away, as this is not his business.

Situations like these are not seldom anymore. In fact, they even become more and more popular. The question remains if these situations only occur with teenagers or even with young adults. Where are these teenagers from? How are their housing and family conditions? Is it only because of their bad family condition that they become violent? And, above all, what does the police do against the increasing violence among teenagers?

These questions interested me very much. That is why I decided to stay with a police officer a few hours. The police officer I spent time with is the head officer of the department of youth criminals in the police investigation department in Karlsruhe.

II. Literature Review:

First of all, there is not a lot of literature on this topic – and to be honest, I have not found anything about it in a library. When I went to the police department for the first time, I found some flyers and posters on a table right next to the entrance of the department. They gave some information on youth criminals, but it certainly was not enough for me. Above all, these flyers and posters gave information on things I already knew or I got to know at my first day at the department. What is really striking is that the information on the flyers strongly make one attentive that there is criminality among teenagers, but ironically one can only get the information in the police departments when it is obviously too late as you are already there. Having searched on that table for interesting and “new” information for a while, I found a small brochure called “Was nun? Wenn Kinder und Jugendliche mit dem Gesetz in Konflikt geraten – Informationen für Eltern”. As this brochure does not provide all the information I needed, I had to ask a police officer for more material. And only after I had asked someone, did I get information and papers with statistics. These papers are not available for everybody. I will discuss these in turn.

a.) “Youth criminality and endangered youths in Baden-Württemberg” [1]

The annual report gives a detailed representation of the different kinds of crime. First, it shows the development of criminal acts over the last five years, in general. It also separates male from female, German from foreign criminals and teenagers from young adults. One of the main parts is larceny. There are different ways of it, such as larceny in/from warehouses, cars or houses. Another part is the `youth specific` crime, such as property damage, bodily injury, blackmail, rape and crime at school. Other crimes, such as ill-treatment of protégés, killings, missed people and abuse of alcohol, are mentioned as well. There are very detailed statistics for all these crimes that compare the development of each of them over the past five years and comment on the ones who are most striking.

One example that concerns this paper is the bodily injury. Concerning the bodily injury, the article reports that there has been an increase of crimes in the year 2004. Generally, these crimes concern events that are privately organised, such as the ‘school’s out parties’. Whereas there had been only the so-called “Abi-Partys” in former times, there are now parties for every school. These parties are organised by the pupils themselves and therefore there is no control at the entrance of the party. The lack of control and the great consumption of alcohol at these parties “cause property damage and bodily injury”. The paper also gives an example for this statement and reports a case that happened in April 2004 in Brenz. Several pupils had a party on a field. At night, some of them withdrew from the party; they were drunk. Two of them climbed over a fence into a garden and hunted the sheep that were in there until one of the sheep became entangled in the fence. One of the teenagers bate the sheep to death with a piece of wood, brought it back to the party and threw it in the fire. Underneath this example there is a table that shows that there has been an increase of youth crimes in 2004 of 108,6% in comparison to the year 1995.

There is also another statistic that is even more interesting than the one mentioned before, as the number of criminal acts of each district in Baden-Württemberg are compared to each other. The numbers of criminal acts can also be compared with the ones from 1995, which again makes a direct comparison possible. There is for example a decline of criminal acts in Heidelberg (-2,6%). In the year 1995, there had been 9.376 crimes committed by youths, whereas there had “only” been 9.129 crimes in 2004. Compared to Heidelberg, Karlsruhe has increased its criminal acts within 15,6%. There had been 8.279 criminal acts in the year 1995 and 9.572 in the year 2004. The district with the greatest increase of crimes is the Hohenlohekreis which was 47,5% in 2004. Although the increase of the Hohenlohekreis seems to be that huge, it still is not comparable to the number of criminal acts in Heidelberg or Karlsruhe; the Hohenlohekreis had “only” 4.534 criminal acts in 2004.

It becomes obvious from this statistic that from the 46 cities that are listed in this table only two had a decline in youth criminals. Whereas the decline was once by 0,1% and 2,6%, the increase is never less than 10%.

b.) “What now? When children and teenagers get in touch with law – information for parents” [2]

First of all there is a short introduction for parents which explains that their child may be confronted with criminal situations every day – as victim or offender. This introduction functions as an appeal to the parents as their children are dependent on their help; it is a normal development for teenagers that they are constantly searching for their own identity and because of that they are trying to find out how far they can go. If there is nobody who shows them their limits, they easily pass over them as they often do not know anything about the consequences of their behaviour and, above all, they often do not know that what they are doing is NOT right.

Then, proceedings against children and teenagers are mentioned. It is said that for children who are younger than fourteen years there would not be a criminal procedure if they have committed a criminal act. The brochure also informs the parents what the police does when they learn that a crime has been committed: identifying the personal data, securing the objects, searching for other persons who are concerned with the act and, at last, report the act to the public prosecutor.


[1] This is just a translation of the German article „Jugendkriminalität und Jugendgefährdung in Baden-Württemberg“, Jahresbericht 2004, Stuttgart: 2005.

[2] This is just a translation of the German article „Was nun? Wenn Kinder und Jugendliche mit dem Gesetz in Konflikt geraten – Informationen für Eltern“, Renningen: 2004.


ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
465 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Youth From writing criminals project university writing I




Titel: Youth criminals: From which class do they come and what does the police do against them? - A project -