Carroll Gardens and its surrounding areas are experiencing an increase in juvenile crime, even though arrests have been made, reports the Brooklyn Eagle.
One troublesome area is Court and Smith Streets where JH and HS kids hang out after school. “But the police are limited in the preventive action they can take,” according to the report. Police cannot clear sidewalks because it is a violation of people’s rights. It’s time we inject some common sense into the law.
Teens who commit group crimes are difficult for the police to arrest because it is hard for victims to identify them individually.
Groups of teens also create the potential for violence amongst themselves.
Some have suggested increased police presence when school lets out. It helps. However, police officers are not babysitters.
A better suggestion is increased parent presence. Where are parents when teens are hanging around after school getting into trouble? If parents are not at work, they should be watching their kids. If they are at work, it is their responsibility to get a reliable substitute.
Another helpful measure is public awareness. People should be aware of the extent of juvenile crime in the neighborhood in order to address it. Yet, the information is scarce. “Since 2008,statistics on youth crime are no longer compiled by precinct but by community district and only for individuals under 16,” according to the NYC Neighborhood Crime Prevention Research Center. The latest figure the Center has is 310 juvenile arrests for Carroll Gardens and Park Slope combined in 2008. They are not categorized by offenses.
A final suggestion is to report troubled teen hangout spots to police. They distribute manpower based upon complaints and keep an eye on kids whose parents aren’t living up to their responsibility.
Patrick Egan, “Youth Crime Spree Hits Carroll Gardens,” Brooklyn Eagle
“Juvenlie Arrests by Community District for Ages 16 and Under,” the NYC Neighborhood Crime Prevention Research Center