The Juvenile Court has observed a “significant increase” in the number of juveniles charged with drug offences last year.
”In 2009 there were 22 drug-related charges in the court concerning juveniles, while 34 such cases were presented to the court last year,” said the Juvenile Court in a statement.
The court said it had also observed a rising number of charges of drug dealing against minors, with nine cases sent to the court in 2010, an increase of three on 2009. Of the nine cases, three youths were found guilty.
‘The court added that 10 juveniles were brought to the court for extension of detention on charges of possessing illegal drugs for dealing, suggesting that this was “very concerning ” as it was “a sinister crime in nature that serves high penalties.
Juvenile Court said that it was very important for parents to prevent their kids from committing such crimes and urged everyone to pay more attention to juveniles.
Furthermore, the Juvenile Court said, that there were people in society “who are behind the crimes committed by juveniles.”
Police statistics for 2010 showed that most arrests made across the Maldives in 2010 were for drug offences (1153), assault (941) and theft (773), and that most of these were first time offenders.
While the bulk of those arrested were young men aged between 17-23, key crimes committed by minors (aged under 18) were assault, theft and drug offences – albeit with an overall decline in 2010 on 2009.