New approach to fight youth crime
Somebody must be held accountable for youth crime, according to Community Alert Development Officer for the South East Region Margaret Quinn.
Speaking at the recent meeting, Ms Quinn said that a 'multiagency approach' to youngsters was necessary if they wish to tackle the issue of crime amongst young people in Wexford.
'There must be some fall-back on parents,' said Ms Quinn, adding that 'until there is some hit on the pockets of parents', the problem will continue. She suggested that parents of juvenile criminals could face benefit cuts or pay a sum.
'Somebody has to be held accountable,' she said. 'People wear convictions like badges of honour.'
Ms Quinn also said that sometimes, the parents themselves are committing the crimes.
Though Cllr Davy Hynes agreed that parents can sometimes be the issue, he dismissed the idea that they were always responsible for the actions of their children.
'I agree that the parents of some are not doing their job but it is far from the truth to say this is general. Some of these young people come from very respectable families.'
'When a 14- or 15-year-old gets into drugs, it is extremely difficult for parents, it turns the family upside-down.'
Ms Quinn clarified that she was 'not passing aspersion' on any family with her remarks.
Local businessman Declan Dunbar said that drug-related crimes are a big problem in Wexford and asked what action is being taken to council young people about them.