One third of The Hague’s street criminals are under 16, say police

One in three street thieves in The Hague is under the age of 16, according to the city’s police force.

The news that so many youngsters are involved in street crime is ‘extremely worrying’, Cevdet Aydin, coordinator of the city’s special street crime task force, told the AD.

In addition, many of them act out of impulse and have not been in contact with the police before, Aydin said.

The youngsters are not selling-on stolen telephones and other goods but ‘doing it for kicks’, the spokesman said. ‘They tell us they are being egged on by their friends and they want to show… they are tough.’

Youth crime researcher Henk Ferwerda told the paper the youngsters see mugging someone or snatching their telephone as an easy crime.

‘They do not realise that courts hand down tough sentences for mugging and that such crimes have a serious impact on their victims, especially if they use violence,’ he said.

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