Volume 93, Issue 21

Tuesday, October 5, 1999


Saugeen pub questions linger

Canada founds world's first online university

Police target rising numbers of youth in crime

Air waves muddled at U of T radio

Millennium and J.W. Little turn weekend profit for city

Homecoming hooplah kept low


Buzz Mecca

Police target rising numbers of youth in crime

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

London will be crawling with adolescents and young adults in the near future and an excess of pink bubble gum is the least of this city's concerns.

London Police Chief Al Gramolini said a police report released on the weekend, showed a substantial increase of robberies. A recent city report projected the population of young people is on the rise. Gramolini said these are two things of which the police must be aware.

"Most of those robberies were committed by youths," he said.

Gramolini explained minor crimes are typically committed by youths aged 15-19, while those in their 20s commit more violent acts.

"It's not necessarily a concern to the London people," Gramolini said of the population increase. "We're just not going to be complacent."

John Fleming, manager of the policies section in the planning division at City Hall, said London has recently reported an expected increase in young people.

Fleming explained more young people are migrating into London due to the strong economy. Secondly, society is being slammed with the children of the baby boomers, he said. "Those two influences working together means we're going to see a real substantial increase."

Fleming added by the year 2016, London can expect to see an increase of an estimated 14,000 to 15,000 more young people.

Although London Mayor Dianne Haskett said she recognized the relationship between crime and young people, she said she had another theory as to why break-ins were on the rise. "What I see is our police force was stretched to the limit in the summer," she said.

"It is true that the age cohort – between 15 and 24 – tends to be the age group who commits the most crime," said Paul Whitehead, sociology professor at Western. "That's the period of time young people are under the least social control. Whitehead listed alcohol consumption, feelings of immortality and complete physical maturation as other contributing factors to the increased amount of crime.

Whitehead added, however, this principally applied to young males.

Not only are young males committing these crimes, Whitehead explained, but they are frequently the victims of crimes as well. "They engage in activities that put themselves at the most risk of crime," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999