Families need to do more to curb youth crime: PM

Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, during the Meet-the-Press session, said an all round solution must be found to curb increasing violence among the youth.

He said, “It is up to us, as a society – individual parents have to ask ourselves if it is okay for your child to drink or not, and if not, you better to do something about it instead of waiting for the government to do something.”

Lyonchhen said that stabbing case among the youth is becoming a serious issue, and each case must be taken very seriously. “We must put an end to it, government must step up its measures, and RBP should be more vigilant. The government will be more vigilant, and we will support the police and all other agencies, all that is required to discharge their responsibilities.”

Lyonchhen said that the government cannot stop children from going out and staying out after 1 am. He said that the parents or guardians should bear the responsibility to take care and monitor their children.

He said not having a space for healthy activities in Thimphu is a lame excuse. PM said, “We may need more museums, but how many of parents take their children to the museum that already exists? If not then, we should ask ourselves if we are using the facilities that we already have.”

Another example he gave to keep the youth engaged is visiting the library. “Do you take your child to the library? The government expanded the library taking the facilities of the Royal University of Bhutan and upon visiting, I found nobody.” In addition, Lyonchhen also emphasized on the youth not using many of the sports facilities and instead going out unsupervised.

To reduce the crime rate in the country, Home Minister, Dawa Gyeltshen, said that RBP has been doing lots of strategies, awareness programs and crime prevention measures in place.

Lyonpo said, “Youth related crimes, like stabbing, are not happening in rural areas, whereby Thimphu alone has reported 8 cases on stabbing followed by Phuentsholing and Paro.”

Lyonpo said all parents must advise their children and keep them meaningfully engaged so that they can have a good education and fruitful life rather than letting them roam aimlessly.

Last year due to rise in stabbing cases, Lyonpo said that with a help from RBP, they tried to frisk students found moving in groups of 2 to 3 numbers after 10 pm. However, the frisking was in conflict with human rights as discussed in the Parliament.

“We had to drop the frisking, whereby the government and RBP couldn’t solve the issue,” Home Minister said.

He also said that all must come together to solve this issue, especially during vacation time when the youth are prone to crime.

In-line with this, Education Minister, Norbu Wangchuk, said that the recent two stabbing cases happened just immediately after the closure of the schools for summer vacation.  He said that the schools are doing a good job in engaging the youth during school time.

“This indicates that the failure is on the part of the guardians, parents, poor performance in academics, and involvement in drugs and absenteeism in schools,” Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said.

He said schools are now re-enforcing the parenting scheme so that parents do not loss control over the students after 4 pm.  He said the parenting scheme in schools are well received by the parents.

Ministry of Education also sees the central schools as a solution, as the central schools have 24 hour boarding care. “The evidences from the 51 central schools today is showing that our youths are now getting cut off from access to drugs, discipline problems are decreasing and academic performance is increasing,” Lyonpo added.


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