Violent crime on the rise in young people
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Asher Redd
Over the past few months in Tuscaloosa and beyond, more and more young people are being arrested in connection with violent crimes.
In Tuscaloosa, a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old engaged in a firefight in the middle of Hay Court apartments in April, and injured a woman in the crossfire.
A person younger than 18 fired into a crowd of people in the Hay Court apartment complex on May 9, injuring five and putting another in critical condition.
Tuscaloosa Police Deputy Chief Sebo Sanders said crime has been generally low in Tuscaloosa, “but right now, we have a spike in gun violence when it comes to juveniles.”
According to the state of Alabama, overall crime rates have decreased by 17% since 2005, which was predominately driven by the 25% decrease in property crimes.
However, violent crime rose by 9% during the same time period.
Trevia Wilson, a licensed professional counselor, said maintaining good relationships could be key to curbing violent behavior.
“To have healthy relationships, we have to work on reframing our thoughts as well as using assertive communication instead of passive or aggressive communication, and learning to problem solve with the other person,” she said.
Sanders said his office is encouraging young people to get involved in community activities like team sports to build and maintain good relationships with others.
“Me and my office are looking at all different avenues when it comes to getting kids off the streets from violent crimes and into doing something positive,” he said.