x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Police summer camps halt rise in youth crime

Police say they are managing to keep a lid on juvenile crime after figures showed the number of cases holding steady, compared with last year.

AJMAN // Police say they are managing to keep a lid on juvenile crime after figures showed the number of cases holding steady, compared with last year. Col Sultan Abdullah al Nuaimi, the deputy director of Ajman Police, said 245 cases of juvenile crime had been registered up to the end of July, one more than in the first seven months of 2008. "In comparison to other crime categories, you find that there is a slow growth because the police have stepped up efforts to help young people not to resort to crime, like summer camps and other awareness programmes," he said at a graduation ceremony for 120 police students at the Ajman Youth Centre.

Police recorded 99 cases relating to crimes against the person, such as assaults and bullying, said Col al Nuaimi. There were 90 financial crimes involving juveniles, aged 14 to 17, and 15 alcohol-related crimes. Most juveniles who resorted to theft did so to "raise their image status", for instance by stealing motorcycles, said Col al Nuaimi. So far this year, up to 10 juvenile offenders had gone through rehabilitation and professional training programmes in the fields of administration, computer skills and entrepreneurship.

"What is important in rehabilitation is that the full support of the family of the youth needs to be engaged," said Col al Nuaimi. "The father and mother should look to see their children reforming and prevent them from getting back to bad behaviour as they are more close to them." Col Mattar al Shamsi, the head of planning and development at Ajman Police, said "change was evident" in most youths who had gone through rehabilitation programmes. "You could see a complete change in the personality of someone who used to regard violence and crime as a solution to the daily problems radically changed to a modest, honesty and trustworthy person," he said, adding that police summer camps were open to all residents.

"The children who stay idle at home are more prone to crime and learning bad behaviour. "That is why we always encourage parents to bring their children to spend their time with us learning something." ykakande@thenational.ae