When today's youth commit crimes it is often the taxpayers that have to pay for it. In many cases, when the crimes include damage to property, theft of personal belongings or merchandise the public are required to pay for the damages through taxes and raised prices in stores. When it comes to theft, the public would be required to pay more money in the long run for a product that is often stolen due to the rate of loss on it. When it comes to property damage we, the owners, are responsible for replacing what has been damaged and paying to replace or repair the item from our own pockets, or to place claims using house or automobile insurance, causing our premiums to rise. Youth crime rates seem to have been increasing over the past couple of years. Most crimes these days are committed by youths who are often under the influence of drugs and alcohol, who have an impaired sense of perception. Police Chief Julian Fantino of the Toronto Police Service says, "Youth crime rates have been rising in recent years even though other violent crime rates have been decreasing," (www.cbc.ca). With youth crime on the rise we the public are forced to pay increasingly for their mistakes.
Not all youth who commit crimes are using drugs or lack a good home to come home to. It is that most youth fall in with the wrong crowd and go along with the flow resulting in peer pressured youth violence. Parents should not be financially responsible for restitution should their children commit crimes. In support of this view are the many programs being instated to try to stop youth crime. Youth crimes rates in Canada are at an all time low from 2002/2003, according to the Statistics Canada Report. The total number of youths being sent to jail over the past couple of years has dropped by six percent (Tracy Huffman, Toronto Star). With the amount of youth crime decreasing, there is less damage for their parents to be responsible for.
The youth crime rate is currently lower than the adult rate of crime. This gives evidence to the idea that the government should be spending more time worrying about how to solve the damage that is being created. Today's youth should be responsible for their own mistakes and should be punished by either community service, repairing the damage or returning what they stole.
The general public seems to associate a wide variety of crimes with young people. Drug offenses were the most common response, with about one quarter, followed in order by theft and stealing, vandalism, robbery, shoplifting and petty theft, murder, burglary, car theft and joy-riding, shootings and stabbings, and assault and battery. Overall, more respondents identified youth with non-violent crimes (drugs and property offenses such as theft and burglary) than violent crimes. The public believes that youth who break the law will commit other crimes in the future, even if youth have no prior record.
Toronto's past Mayor, Mayor Mel Lastman, came up with...