More and more Australian teenage girls are committing violent crimes, with a 36 per cent increase in the past decade, new figure reveals. It says packs of girls, with members as young as 13, are mirroring the territorial behaviour of teenage boys and becoming involved in stabbings, bashings and robberies with frightening regularity.
The number of girl offenders increased by 36 per cent in the decade to June 2009 compared to an 8 per cent increase for boys, according to NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics data. That trend has continued in the past two years, spiking over the school holidays.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Carlene York said the spike was "concerning", admitting police did not have a gender-specific strategy to deal with young female offenders. "With the increasing number of young women committing offences, it's concerning that violence is part of those offences," the Daily Telegraph quoted her as saying.
"We do find that the rate (of female offenders) increases during school holidays," she said. Shire Wide Youth Services executive officer Kellie Checkley said 70 per cent of the organisation's clients were girls as young as 13. "We have noticed an increase and more girls than guys are coming through," Checkley said. "Girls are starting to act more like boys and that's a massive change in the current generation," she added.
Director of Sydney youth service Weave, Shane Brown, blamed poor parenting, poverty and reality television for the surge in girl crime. "The lack of parenting and leaving children alone leaves a gap in terms of moral and ethical values. Reality TV shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which portray young women as aggressive are influential because they're talking about the fact it's to your benefit to be aggressive," Brown said.