JST204 - Young People and Crime
The way that young individuals are represented through media is significant in developing society’s perspective about youth and through local concerns in regards to these young people, ‘moral panics’ are created. Substantial panic that is created within an environment does not require an accurate representation of an individual or group. It is easier for successive governments to use a ‘tougher approach on crime’ perspective that is heightened by sensationalised media reports rather than to resolve undisclosed social issues (Cunneen and White 2007). To be specific, ethnic minority groups have fallen victim to negative media depictions in relation to criminal acts. In the city of Melbourne, gang-related youth crime is common and is heavily focused on by all forms of media. This is an issue that has been reoccurring and is certainly not a modern fabrication. Recently, media coverage has focused on the deterrence of gang-related crime through the disintegration of said gangs. Respectively, this essay will centralise around an article which has been published by the Herald Sun. It will analyse the outcome of the chosen article and create a better understanding towards ethnic minority youth, crime and the moral panic that is in association. Comment by Amellia Crook: Strong intro
Titled “ Apex gang has been ‘contained’ but youth violence is increasing, police say” ( Kinniburgh 2017), a newspaper article in the Herald Sun, portrays ethnic youth crime in a sensationalised way. It focuses on the crime committed by gangs forged by the youth within the city of Melbourne. Whilst the disintegration of the ‘Apex gang’, primarily involving the Ssudanese community and migrants (Kinniburgh, 2017) is its primary focus, this article is in succession of many media reports that follow the issue of youth crime. This article invokes a negative perspective with Liberal MP Jason Wood (Kinniburgh, 2017) voicing that the Susudanese community is committing the second highest number of aggravated burglaries behind Australians and that there is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Similarly, Supt De Santo (Kinnniburgh, 2017) stated that of all alleged offenders, Ssudan-born alleged offenders now make up 4.8 percent, up from 1.4 percent. He also made clear that whilst the Apex gang has been dismantled, other groups are still functioning and youth crime is undoubtedly rising. Although these violent crimes mirror an issue that obviously requires attention, it is evident that media reports heighten the issue so that the general public believe that it concerns each and every individual as a threat. Comment by Amellia Crook: Good stat Comment by Amellia Crook: Good
Within the article Kinniburgh uses language that is provocative and this along side the extensive media coverage establishes a moral panic within Melbourne suburbs in regards to youth related gangs. As stated by Cunneen et al (2008) “the concept of ‘moral panic’...