Want of money and the distress of a thief can never be alleged as the cause of his thieving, for many honest people endure greater hardships with fortitude. We must, therefore, seek the cause elsewhere than in want of money, for that is the miser's passion, not the thief's. It is not only poverty that leads one by the nose towards life of crime, but an allure of acquiring pelf and lucre with ease also takes him to the blind alley of misdemeanour and felony. And leading by the example in this now-a-days seems to be the rising generation for whom riches and means are taking precedence over righteousness.
But the moot question is, has crime become another career option for the youngsters? Call it an impact of Bollywood blockbusters or whatever you may like, the holy city of Prayag is witnessing an increasing number of such cases where youths from well-off families are found involved in wrongdoing.
For some, its a sort of parttime job to meet daily expenses, for others it's a lucrative business to make a fast buck.
Crime is an easy way to lead a good life, like it was for a 28-year-old youth working as an executive in a private bank, who was recently arrested on charges of snatching purses of women in the city.
The youth was fond of tasting different brands of liquor and for it, he after bank hours used to execute chain and purse snatching with members of a local gang.
Claiming that as many as 67 young delinquents with good educational and family backgrounds had fallen into the police net in the last 18 months, police say most of them told the khakhi clad that they had turned to crime for fun and it ended up becoming a habit.
When police arrested an auto-lifter, a post graduate, they could hardly believe it. He confessed to the crime, saying he entered the world of crime after failing to fetch a job and found vehicle-lifting a lucrative business to earn his livelihood.
Police, too, claim that most of the youngsters carry out crime for money, more often for gulping down beer bottles. Young people are prone to glamour and fall prey to it. To fulfil their wishes, they believe in adopting shortcut routes and commit crime for indulging in luxuries, DIG, Allahabad range, M K Banshal told UNI here.
''Youth crime is also the result of ''moral decay'' and the erosion of ''family values''. Social problems that lead to crime, such as unemployment, poverty, homelessness and alienation, are blamed on individuals.'' Real solutions to crime will only come with real solutions to the problems that cause it. The starting point would be creating real jobs, significantly increasing public-funded youth and community services and providing a guaranteed living income for all,'' he said.
Snatching a gold chain is an easy task instead of working round the clock to earn some bucks, said a psychologist.
Senior cops believe that most of them are wet behind ears. Police investigations, too, claim that they were unaware of the escape routes.
Mr Banshal said on account of peculiar problems such as unchecked migration, illegal settlements, diverse socio-cultural disparities, uneven distribution of incomes and others, the city is facing an increase in criminal activity. Organised groups, gangsters, professional criminals and even youth and juveniles find crime as a shortcut to a lavish life.
Youngsters should lay more stress on their studies instead of diverting their mind towards the latest crime trend. Educated youths, who usually follow crime scene, are not hardcore criminals and can turn over a new leaf, if given a chance, he underlined.
Not only boys, even educated girls, including medical aspirants, fall in the police net for their alleged connections with outlaws.
When a girl, a medical aspirant, was caught with a Sultanpur based villain by the Colonelganj police, senior police officials were in for a shock and they themselves interrogated the accused for her role in an attempted dacoity at a transporter's residence.
It came as a bolt from the blue for police when they came to know that the medical aspirant, also daughter of a senior surgeon, had links with a Sultanpur-based gang involved in auto lifting and robberies.
The recent report of National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) reveals that more and more youngsters are turning to crime. Of the total arrests made across the nation, around 46.6 per cent belonged to the 18-30 age group and most of them were held in drug-related crime.
The report also maintained that youngsters becoming part of drug cartels, where they first start as users and in an attempt to arrange their daily dose, they opt for the smuggling route and other sensational crimes. It also states that incidents of youth from well-off families joining the crime world to support their lavish lifestyle are becoming common.