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Criminal Limburg youth earns 33 million euros | 1Limburg

Criminal juveniles have earned a total of around 33.8 million euros in the past three years. They are also more often involved in crime than other youth in the country.

This is apparent from research by the Task Force for Youth Underminers, set up by the Regional Information and Expertise Center (RIEC). This team spoke not only with aid agencies, the municipality and the police, but also with young people from the criminal circuit.

Drugs, Weapons and Threats
They themselves indicate that they are regularly guilty of drug offences, threats and cybercrime. Remarkably enough, this last fact is not explicitly reflected in the figures of the investigative services.

fast money
The main reason for operating in the criminal circuit is the desire for quick money. The RIEC has therefore looked into suspicious money flows. Of the 33.8 million in suspicious transactions, it appears to mainly concern transfers within the Netherlands. According to the researchers, this may indicate money laundering.

Blind spot
‘Although the registered figures (from the police, ed.) are nil when it comes to money laundering, cybercrime and human trafficking, a completely different sound emerges from the professional field,’ the task force writes in its final report. “The use of money mules, fraud via the internet and sexual exploitation are phenomena that are increasingly seen.” The fact that this is not apparent from the figures from the investigative services is because often no report is made or this report is not registered under the heading of undermining. According to the researchers, there is therefore a ‘blind spot’.

Under 15 years
The researchers also tried to map out the circumstances under which young people end up in this crime. It was assumed that young people first start with minor crimes and then gradually end up in more serious crime. Experts see that young people are switching to serious offenses more and more quickly because they do not understand the seriousness of their actions. The young people themselves say that they often deal, threaten or use violence before the age of fifteen. They themselves indicate that the penalties imposed on them do not have a deterrent effect.

No emotional support from parents
The environment of the youth has great influence when it comes to starting a criminal career. “The influence that family and friends have in relation to the search for recognition, belonging and status is great,” the report says. Many of the young people themselves indicate that they experience ‘less emotional support’ from their parents and that they have bad friends more often.

Social media flywheel
The influence of social media also proves to be a flywheel. Often the environment does not see what someone is doing on his phone, which means that a young person can engage in criminal activities undisturbed. In addition, according to the researchers, social developments are underway, the impact of which would be noticeable on young people. Drug use and violence are increasingly considered normal. Society is hardening and the corona pandemic has also lowered the threshold for young people to engage in crime.

Single-parent families and less educated
The majority of juvenile delinquents are boys, but experts are also seeing more and more girls in the circuit. The young people are often less educated. Relatively speaking, teenagers who grow up in a single-parent family and whose parents are less educated are more likely to commit crime. ‘Finally, the (vulnerable) neighborhood in which young people grow up, Limburg’s borderline location and also poverty in the family seem to matter,’ the researchers conclude.

the followers
The professional counselors the researchers spoke to indicate that they have a ‘good view’ of the youth who are already involved in criminal activities and the group they belong to. ‘However, the youth that hangs around it, the young growth, deserves more attention. Less hard information is known about this category and the size is difficult to visualize.’

The researchers make a series of recommendations to prevent subversive crime by young people. For example, schools should be more alert to young people with behavioral problems and should pay more attention to the emotional and moral development of the students. Schools should also appoint an ‘attention officer’ who recognizes signals and ensures that attention is also paid to the theme of undermining in the lessons. There is also a task for youth workers and youth should get more role models in the neighbourhood.

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