Today’s youth have yesterday’s ideals

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Kids of today, eh? Being all polite and not getting into.. er… trouble.. That’s what recent studies are revealing anyway. And if the hype is to be believed, then the younger generation – or Millenials – are employing Victorian principles to their way of life.

Back in the 1990’s, there was a lot of crime committed by younger people. After we’d seen the well mannered youth of the mid-century 1900s, respect and social etiquette seemed to peter out. However, in previous years, the Police and courts have seen a decline in crime committed by younger people. And this isn’t just in Britain, America has seen a similar decrease.

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Over the past decade, crime rates have fallen in all areas from drug use (although percentages of Class A drug use has remained the same at around 10%)  to first time offenders being admitted to youth offending institutes. Looking more recently, that latter statistic shows first-time juvenile offenders entering the criminal justice system fall from 110,879 in 2007 to 40,717 in 2011.

From the beginning of the 1990s to the mid-90s, crime saw a steady rise with only theft from cars going erratically up and down through the years. From 1995 onwards, the end of the century saw a steady drop in all areas, bar Stranger violence without robbery, which rose until 2000 then dropped again.

Conspiracy theorists will cite the governments and authorities fudging figures and bending truths. But I like to think that younger people are simply growing up better. It all adds up: The younger people in the UK and USA who experienced a lot of crime throughout the 1990s, either personally or watching it on television, won’t want to be like that as they get older. Parents also won’t want their kids growing up to do that, so they will be more likely to teach their children to be more respectful, to study hard and stay out of trouble.

Millenials also seem to be more vocal about what they want to do and where they want to be in the future and I think that acts as a catalyst to motivate them into bettering themselves. Social media could play an important part in that as well as more global access to the violence that surrounds us in the world. They also have easier access to the authorities, being able to put problems and issues to them without getting desperate and having to resort to violence.

There’s a chance that this drop in crime, could create complacency and see a sharp rise in the near future, but I’m optimistic. As long as we keep utilising the best parts of Victorian principles and teaching them to our kids, we can enjoy lower crime and better prospects for our children.

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