Minors in Bar are frequent participants in violent incidents and perpetrators of criminal acts: Alcohol, violence, serious theft...

Boys most often participate in fights and thefts, while girls sometimes participate in group verbal violence during classes or on social networks. A special problem is represented by students who attend classes outside of school but come to the school yard and hall and use drugs and mistreat girls, often disrupting classes.

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Peer violence is not uncommon in schools (illustration), Photo: Shutterstock
Peer violence is not uncommon in schools (illustration), Photo: Shutterstock
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Juvenile crime and violence among peers, one of the burning problems in the region and Montenegro, did not bypass the Bar either. Young people under the age of 18 are frequent participants in violent incidents and perpetrators of criminal acts, while the use of alcohol and drugs is becoming more frequent, and deviant behaviors of young people are finding new forms.

The Police Administration (UP) told "Vijesta" that, in the period from October 1 last year to March 28 of this year, 16 cases of peer violence were registered in the municipality of Bar, of which ten cases involved misdemeanors. of the Law on Public Order and Peace, while in six cases we are talking about criminal acts.

"In relation to those six cases, seven criminal charges were filed, three of which were for the criminal offense of violent behavior, one criminal charge for the criminal offense of harming the reputation of a foreign state or international organization, one for the criminal offense of endangering security, one for the criminal offense of illegal possession and carrying weapons and explosive substances and one for the criminal offense of grievous bodily harm", said the UP.

In that period, Bar police officers registered seven cases of peer violence in Bar schools, where the competent prosecutor assessed that there were no elements of a criminal offense in the actions of the reported incident.

The UP said that when it comes to crimes where the perpetrators are minors, the most common cases are violence, aggravated theft, theft and confiscation of vehicles.

"Vijesti" talked to five students from three high schools in Bar through an Instagram group. All five are high school graduates, while three are adults. They claim that the biggest problems of young people in Bar are violence and abuse of alcohol and psychoactive substances.

They notice that boys are the ones who most often participate in fights, armed conflicts and thefts. Girls sometimes participate in group verbal violence during classes or on social media.

A special problem is represented by students who attend classes outside of school but come to the school yard and hall and use drugs and harass girls, often disrupting classes. They also know several of their peers who deal in drug distribution and, as they claim, do it in school yards.

As another way in which their peers who are of age earn money is that they pledge gold to those younger than them in bar jewelry stores for a certain percentage.

Professor of the legal group of subjects at the High School of Economics and Hospitality in Bar Neđeljko Đurović he said that juvenile delinquency and peer violence are the most impressive reflections of unfavorable social trends, because their escalation depends both on the situation in a certain society and on unfavorable global influences.

"The frequency of these unpleasant events shows the general dysfunctionality of a community or its institutional inability to properly respond to this challenge," he said.

Đurović added that a very dangerous dimension of this phenomenon is its spread by criminal groups who see juvenile delinquents as their future members or use them to commit certain misdemeanor and criminal acts.

This is preceded, in his opinion, by risky forms of behavior that occur during the completion of primary education and the authorities, he believes, must consider the circumstances that led to certain behaviors.

Neđeljko Necko Đurović
Neđeljko Necko Đurovićphoto: Private archive

As some of them, he cites a large number of unjustified absences from school, poor school performance, indiscipline at school and at home, showing defiance and disobedience, use of alcohol and tobacco products, experimentation with drugs, as well as inappropriate communication not only with peers, but also with teaching staff and adults.

"One simply has to ask what else needs to happen so that our educational institutions, regardless of the number of students, have psychologists and pedagogues, while the system of imposing educational measures should be adopted in primary schools. In addition, it is necessary to point out the importance of mental health and the fact that in most Montenegrin cities we do not have child psychiatrists", he told "Vijesta".

Delinquency as a result of negligence

The trend of juvenile delinquency in Montenegro is conditioned by numerous factors, said Đurović. Among them, the most significant, according to him, are the dysfunctionality of the family and the neglect of children, the consequences of the pandemic, galloping social stratification, uncontrolled media content that promotes primitivism and violence, ubiquitous and unsanctioned hate speech, as well as the fact that the courtyards of educational institutions are often the scene of dangerous influences .

"It is simply astonishing the delay in defining a clearer model of security in schoolyards, as well as the indifference about whether certain incidents occur during classes or during the period when schools are closed. It is unacceptable that third parties, i.e. persons who are not involved in the teaching process in any way, come to these areas without hindrance and come into contact with the students", he said.

According to his opinion, a special problem is represented by juvenile delinquents, who, under the guise of the necessity of social contact with their peers, actually commit criminal acts and disrupt public order and peace with their behavior.

According to Đurović, the deviant behavior of young people is a phenomenon that closely follows negative social transformations. These are the absence of empathy, disregard for norms of appropriate behavior, rejection of values ​​that condition general social progress, such as respect for personality, diligence, consistency, conscientiousness...

"On this issue, it is very important to point out the disastrous concept in the socialization of a young person, according to which she has a "right", but there is no corresponding obligation or appropriate behavior for her. "This approach to the development of young people makes it impossible to work properly with them, and it makes it especially difficult to deal with educators," he said.

He thinks that the fact that there are still more people among us who turn their heads to the appearance of violence, as well as the fact that there are parents who encourage their children to behave aggressively, should be of concern.

He assessed that insufficient attention is paid to the institutional control of parenting, because some of the current cases of violence among young people in their chronology have situations during which the abusers had the support of their parents.

"In fact, everyone who meets the perpetrators of peer violence in the classroom, hall or school yard is familiar with the fact that their insolence stems from the knowledge that they cannot be sanctioned, as well as that some of them have the backing of their influential parents," he said.

Đurović believes that it would be useful to conduct research that would determine the connection between juvenile delinquents and the violence that occurs in their families, as well as the fact that most of them have parents who are criminals. The abused child is withdrawn, he assessed, depressed, prone to self-harm and suicidal intentions, but is also a victim who becomes a bully.

His experience showed that the number of juvenile offenders in Montenegrin cities is not large, but there are no clear procedures for monitoring their behavior and working with them.

"And the existing legislative framework provides enough opportunities to design appropriate inter-institutional treatment with them. "Educational institutions generally have appropriate educational and pedagogical procedures and teams for the prevention of violence, but there is no coordinated activity between centers for social work, members of the Police Administration, health institutions and basic prosecutor's offices," he concluded.

He pointed out that due to the urgency of this problem, time should not be wasted on developing new strategies and action plans, but on the basis of the existing legal solutions, an expedient administrative practice should finally be established.

"A special aspect of violence among young people is represented by minor victims who still do not receive adequate support. After experiencing violence, victims become stigmatized, experience fear of possible peer rejection, and this sends the message that "it's a shame to be a victim", Đurović said.

He added that even after the experienced violence, they very often suffer delayed or extended violence, which mostly happens on social networks, so the bullies using the "pack mentality" continue to indirectly persecute the victim, as well as those who support them.

"Peer violence is hard to see in most cases, and bullies often instruct their peers in their wicked intentions," he said.

Unauthorized sharing of intimate content in the shadows

The experience of schoolgirls and observation of the environment showed that the problem is the illegal sharing of intimate photos and videos of girls more and more frequently and in the shadows.

This negative phenomenon was introduced in the Criminal Code of Montenegro last December. "Misuse of someone else's recording, photograph, portrait, audio recording or file with sexually explicit content" will be punished by imprisonment from six months to three years.

"These things are often accompanied by shame and blackmail. Everyone divides and condemns the victim, not the bully. She gets the label of being immoral, and he gets the label of being a snitch. I've never heard that anyone reported anyone because of that, only that the parents reacted," said the student of the Bar high school.

All five agree that young people do not have the freedom to turn to the administration or professors when they have a problem or suffer violence. They share the opinion that psychologists and pedagogues in schools are perceived as a "punitive expedition" because students who cause problems go to them, not those who suffer because of their behavior.

As they said, there are few professors they can turn to, but there are some. However, as they pointed out, they have the impression that these professors are rejected from the rest of the collective because of this and are not able to solve some of the problems themselves.

Workshops, networking, communication, folders...

Within the Municipality of Bar, a Local Team for the Prevention of Violence against Children and Youth was established. The local administration told "Vijesta" that this body was formed in order to create a safer and more compassionate environment, and because of frequent cases of violent behavior.

That Local Team, in addition to representatives of municipal authorities and services that do not have real competences or powers in dealing with cases of violence, consists of representatives of the Regional Security Center "South" - Bar Security Department, the Center for Social Work for the municipalities of Bar and Ulcinj, the Municipal Red Cross Organization of Bar , JU of the Health Center Bar, Basic Court Bar, Basic State Prosecutor's Office Bar, Radio Bar, as well as representatives of primary and secondary schools from the territory of the municipality from the ranks of principals, teachers, pedagogues, parents and students.

"Despite the fact that this topic rightly arouses great public interest, and should be in the focus of the local civil sector, there were no applications for the participation of NGO representatives in the Team," they pointed out.

The Municipality hopes that, as they said, the engagement and interest of this important segment of society is not limited to project activities and reactions to individual cases of violence, but that in the coming period, they will show readiness for systematic and continuous action in the direction of prevention.

One of the first tasks of the Local Team for the Prevention of Violence against Children and Youth related to the development of an activity plan for the prevention and handling of cases of violence, which was drafted and adopted by the Bar Municipality Assembly for the period from 2024 to 2025.

The plan, as they stated, identified several problem areas and within them a number of specific activities were proposed, the implementation of which is ongoing. For the implementation of certain activities, public invitations were sent to individuals and NGOs that would be involved in their implementation, they said and added that they expect to get actors who will conduct research on violence against children and young people with the publication of research findings and the creation of a brochure with recommendations.

They plan to organize workshops for media representatives on reporting on violence against children and youth, promotion of sports and recreational activities, financing of family therapy, workshops for responsible parenting...

When asked what specific activities the Local Team carried out, they answered that in addition to the preparation of the Action Plan for the prevention of violence against children and youth, at the meetings held so far, they looked at the activities that each, within the scope of their competences and powers, carries out with the aim of preventing and suppressing violence.

"The basic intention of the Team is to ensure more effective action of all actors in that chain of actions through a multi-sector approach, exchange of information and intensive mutual communication, as well as to monitor the implementation of the activities provided for in the Plan", they said.

As the focus was placed on the best possible networking of institutions and the flow of information, as they said, a common folder was created to share relevant information and documents that may be of importance to the work of the Team.

The team, as they stated, conducts visits to student communities in order to gain a more comprehensive insight into the issue of violence through direct conversation with children and young people, but also to get to know their needs and wishes better, and to hear their proposals for eliminating the causes and solving this problem. problems.

The Local Secretariat for Sports and Youth organized a meeting with all school teams for the fight against violence, which was the impetus for their networking with the aim of sharing experiences and future joint action, said the Municipality of Bar.

Hospitalization after fight, then criminal charges

At the end of February of this year, two minors took part in a violent incident in Bar's Makedonski naselje during the time when classes are held. The citizens then turned to "Vijesti", but the director of the school attended by these students did not answer the editorial questions.

The UP confirmed that the conflict took place on February 22, 2024 at around 9.30:XNUMX a.m. when the police officers of the Bar Security Department received a notification that there had been a disturbance of public order and peace in Makedonski naselje, in front of a bakery.

"One person was then transported by the Emergency Medical Service to the General Hospital in Stari Bar. "After receiving the notification, police officers interviewed a minor who suffered minor physical injuries in the premises of the General Hospital in Stari Bar", said the UP.

Through further operational work in the field, they added, the police officers found out about the identity of the minor who physically attacked the injured party, and in the official premises of the Bar Security Department, a notification on the circumstances of the event was collected from him, in the presence of a legal representative.

"The prosecutor at the Basic State Prosecutor's Office in Bar is aware of everything, and he declared that the actions of this minor contain elements of the criminal act of violent behavior and a criminal complaint has been filed against him," they told "Vijesta".

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