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Juvenile crimes ring alarm bells
Fahad Al Mukrashi
September 18, 2013 , 10 : 26 am GST
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With juvenile delinquency on the rise in Oman, crimes like theft and traffic law violations comprised a majority of the cases referred to the Public Prosecution over the past three years, according to Hussein bin Ali Al Hilali, Public Prosecutor of the Sultanate.
The prosecutor said that most of the juvenile cases are settled by the Public Prosecution without involving the judiciary. These cases are settled in accordance with certain regulations and by taking into account the age of the juvenile delinquent.
Al Hilali stressed the importance of involving the young people in sports and cultural activities through civil society institutions so that they can productively spend their spare time instead of indulging in petty crime.
Statistics with the Public Prosecution's arm dealing with juvenile cases showed that the total number of cases involving such crimes were 181, including 46 criminal cases and 129 cases of misdemeanour.
With 81 cases, theft topped as a crime in juvenile delinquency instances, followed by 26 cases of crimes classified as mischief, according to the Public Prosecution.
A total of 316 accused were cited in juvenile crimes in 2012, of whom 278 were citizens and 38 expatriates. Shinas topped the wilayats in the number of juvenile cases, followed by Barka, Saham and Rustaq.
Among the crimes dealt with rarely by Public Prosecution departments nationwide were staff resistance, Omani passport law violations and cyber law violations.
Experts said it has often come to light that juveniles committing crimes come from homes with a disturbed marital state of affairs. Often, either their parents have separated or divorced, or the upbringing of such young people is found wanting.
The juvenile delinquency cases have been on the rise with every passing year, sounding alarm bells for all segments of society.
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