Juvenile crime barely increasing, but violence becoming more serious

Eindhoven Central Station
Photo credit: Studio040

Juvenile delinquency has barely increased in Brabant over the past five years. The number of robberies and threats has even decreased slightly. But the violent crimes committed by young people are becoming increasingly more serious. That’s according to Jeroen Huijsmans of the youth probation service in West Brabant. “Knives are often drawn now.”

Jeroen Huijsmans has been working at the Youth Probation within Youth Protection Brabant for 35 years. He noticed that the type of crimes involving young people is changing. “When I started, there were mainly young people who committed home burglaries or car thefts. You hardly see that anymore. Now it is more young people who commit crimes online. And violence is also a concern.”


Incidents of violence have not increased but the seriousness has. Huijsmans explained: “We see that young people more often commit serious acts with a knife. And that often has serious consequences. Previously, it was often hitting and kicking during an argument between young people, but now it is often with a knife. And then the consequences can be more fatal.”

Knife ban

Huijsmans advocates a total knife ban. “I’m a big proponent of that. But then we also have to enforce it and check schools for knives in bags or jackets. This way, we can do something about it and then it’s clear to everyone what the rules are.”

If young people have a knife in their pocket, it can have a snowball effect. “It makes other young people feel anxious. They then may decide to carry a knife themselves. When a fight occurs, things can then often go wrong.”

Role of parents

According to Huijsmans, parents should be much more alert to their child’s online behaviour. Because that’s where arguments often start. “Things are said to one another online that aren’t normally said to one another’s face. And after such an argument, it can then explode as soon as they run into each other. Moreover, drug trafficking often starts online.”

Returning to the right track

According to Huijsmans, if things have gone wrong for young people, they must get back on the right path as soon as possible after serving their sentence. “Most young people who are arrested and detained for a while are shocked by this. It is our job to see very quickly what is going on. We often plead for young people to be released as soon as possible because we want to work with them. They are children and you have to keep educating them in order to turn the situation around.” More information can be found here.

Source: Omroep Brabant

Translated by: Shanthi Ramani

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