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Earlier today, I came across this video of a young boy in America who had been caught by the police for drinking under the legal age of 21. It made me chortle a little, but with all humour aside, the seriousness of the issues arising from the clip (parental involvement, education, mental health care etc), indicate that so much needs to be done to help support disadvantaged kids and give them more opportunities to better their lives. But of course, they need to be willing to help themselves first.

I, like many others who watched this, thought: “Where the hell are his parents?”. It’s obvious that the teen is from a broken home. It’s probable that from a very young age he was left to his own devices and certain acts of deviance have become the norm to him.  He’s emotionally torn and needs guidance or some sort of counselling. As much as he protests that he wants to go to prison, rather than juvenile hall, jail-with that mouth- will most definitely send him on the path of  destruction. His situation is not unique. Without sounding patronising, it’s a sad state of affairs.

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gun-hiding-poster

Anti-gun-hiding poster

According to information compiled by charities and the police, teenage girls accept rape as a  normative part of joining violent male gangs.

Some are forced into to having sex with many of the gang , ferrying guns, knives and drugs without even questioning the fact that they’re being violated.

Last month, Police in London launched an add campaign warning that young women who hide guns and knives for their gangster boyfriends risk going to jail. The posters (left) were designed in an attempt to help prevent shootings in London by urging young women not to conceal weapons.

The campaign, aimed primarily at black teens, was launched in the light of the increasing amount of young women convicted for possessing weapons in the last year.

Like most of these type of campaigns, I don’t think it will work. Girls in gangs is nothing new. Some people defend the young girls by saying they feel pressurised into carrying weapons for their gang-member boyfriends.

Yes, they’re treated as second class citizens and subordinates to their male counterparts but-and I may sound cold- most of them know exactly what they’re getting themselves into. People will only treat you how you let them.

Prevention, as they say, is better than cure. Stay in school ladies, and earn yourselves a promising future. I’m tired of people blaming organisations, charities and the police. What’s wrong with these girls taking responsibility for their own lives?

It’s easy to throw money at a situation: glossy add campaign, more funding for charities but if these girls don’t want to genuinely help themselves how can anyone else help them?

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