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article imageA New Wave Of Teenage Film Makers Shoot Crimes For Web Entertainment

By Michelle Duffy     May 8, 2007 in Crime
A new past time seems to be sweeping the younger generation. No expensive outlay needed, only a mobile phone and a crime to film
Youths are finding fun in filming crimes such as arson and car theft and then posting them on the Internet according to BBC Wales.
The films are finding their way onto sites such as YouTube and are generally filmed by the criminals acting out the crimes in a way of showing off to others. It is becoming a growing problem. Not only do bored kids want to commit crimes, but they want to film them, spread them all over the web and boast about them. Such antics are the focus of a programme this week on BBC Wales' 'Week In Week Out' show.
The show intends to expose further crimes which are carried out and then filmed deliberately. At the same time, YouTube are coming under scrutiny as they claim that they have strict guidelines for posting material that is of a criminal or offensive nature. However, teens are easily getting passed these rules, posting such footage without being stopped.
The programme will also feature an interview with one youth who regularly submits footage online of himself committing crimes. One of which is a piece of film of him setting fire to a stolen vehicle.
These crimes include car theft and filming the process of hot wiring a car to get it started without having the ignition key.
Yet the programme highlights the every reason we believe is behind such teenage crime. Boredom.
The teen says,
"I've got nothing else to do really, I haven't got a job and I'm not in college. There's nothing to do around here and anything that there is to do costs money and no one's got money. We just do it and if anything funny is happening we can look back and laugh."
Yet other postings are of a grim nature, far worse than setting fire to a car, which to many of us, is bad enough. James Pilcher, a young 18 year old was the recent victim of an attack which was filmed and then posted in the Internet. One night, he was chased through four lanes of traffic in terror before being pushed into a back garden where he was viciously beaten. The whole incident was captured on the mobile phone of a gang member who carried out the attack.
What is perhaps more disturbing, it the fact that it was posted on YouTube under the 'entertainment' section.
Pilcher was not aware of the filming until he was told by someone that it was on the web.
Yet the nightmare does not stop there. If it is humiliating enough to be attacked by a gang and have it filmed, surely nothing could be worse than having the whole neighbourhood watch it, and pass it around to each other via their mobile phones.
Disturbingly, youths post such footage to gain, in a psychological sense, a sense of achievement and by putting these crimes online, they think they will gain recognition and respect from their peers.
Dr Keith Hayward, a criminologist at the University of Kent said of the new crime craze,
"People just don't think there's going to be any consequences when you are shooting this material. It's really about technology driving this - you can film it, you can distribute it, you can be your own producer/director, and you can go on YouTube and get your few minutes of fame. You can actually re-live these moments, make them available to millions of people."
YouTube have since removed footage of these crimes, but many others will be committed and posted.
Just how committed, are YouTube themselves in creating an environment where pieces of unoffensive film can be exchanged? Or are are they bothered at all?
More about Youths, Posting, Crimefootage
 
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