THE Rotary Club (RC) of Central Damansara recently organised a dinner-cum-talk which looked at the rise in the number of youths involved in crime.
The guest speaker at the dinner was DSP S. Shanmugamoorthy — a legal officer from the police’s Criminal Investigation Department (D5) at Bukit Aman who has been with the force for 27 years. He has also served in Pahang, Terengganu and Kedah.
DSP Shanmugamoorthy said social deviance begins during the schoolgoing years and becomes a catalyst to more serious crimes.
He said that “some schools are in denial, trying to handle things internally in order to maintain their image.”
However, he added there are other external factors which could have pushed the figures up, such as locale, parents, level of education, peer pressure, job security, financial stability and the media.
Within January to September, the most common offences were robberies (959 cases), rape (151), murder (37) and armed robbery (six cases).
However, the most alarming figure was the number of youths between the ages of 16 and 18 who were involved in criminal activity within the same period.
According to DSP Shanmugamoorthy, based on figures obtained from the Prisons Department, there has been an 89.4% rise in robberies, 70.9% increase for rape and 66.7% hike for murder among this age group.
Out of the 70.9% of rape cases, 75.8% involved persons under the age of 18 years, he revealed.
Also present at the dinner talk were RC Central Damansara president Nithianandan, RC Bukit Bintang president Manjeet Singh, RC Melawati president Sunthar Raj and RC Puchong president Barry Lim, while RC Central Damansara past president Siti Subaidah was the organising chairman.