Police and young offenders
The police should explore the option of using community service as a correctional tool, apart from counselling parents before things go out of control
The Hyderabad and Cyberabad police should treat with utmost sensitivity and delicacy all cases reflecting delinquency and wayward behaviour among youngsters, especially in the case of adolescents who have highly impressionable minds.
Youngsters, whether educated or not, who are being rounded up for serious offences like house-breaking or vehicle theft or for other acts of misdemeanour such as speeding on bikes or loitering on roads late at night, should not be treated as if they are hardened criminals. In particular, the police should avoid parading youngsters before the media.
These days it has become fashionable for the police, even among the top brass, to ‘present’ before the media notorious criminals as well as young offenders apprehended as if the personnel in uniform have done something beyond their call of duty. No police force worth its salt would display detained young offenders as trophies for gaining public approbation.
Of course, the uniformed personnel in question may like to pose before cameras for their action in line of duty, which is often glorified in films. Still, that is no consolation to squelch the potential for reformation among youth who have gone astray due to decadent values, poor upbringing, and questionable atmosphere on the campuses of educational institutions or whatever.
This is not to suggest that juvenile delinquents should be allowed to go scot-free. The police top brass in particular must be circumspect in deciding how to deal with youngsters who have it in them to turn over a new life with the right kind of motivation. The police should explore the option of using community service as a correctional tool, apart from counselling parents before things go out of control.