Tackling Youth Crime in Blacktown

Youth are the future of a nation. The youths plays a critical role in national building by providing their skills and knowledge in the development of the country (Renwick et al., 2019). In this regard, it is imperative to establish measures to counter any issue that can affect the future of the youths in the society. For instance, juvenile crime in Blacktown is a serious problem that can considerably affect the future of the youths in the society. The issue of juvenile crime in Blactown is largely contributed by socioeconomic and political factors (Nienhüser, 2008). In this regard, tackling youth crime in Blacktown can involve the use of 2 major theories; Resources Dependence Theory and Power Theory.

The connection of Blacktown juvenile crime to RDT and Power Theory

In 2008, the City of Blacktown was the largest local government area in New South Wales, with a population of about 300,000. Located in the heart of Greater Western Sydney, its train and bus stations make Blacktown a major transport hub, and its compact central business district boasts a large shopping center, supermarkets, restaurants, and a movie theatre. At the time, Blacktown was a culturally diverse area and getting more diverse every year. There were nearly 200 different cultural groups, and just as many languages and dialects spoken. Larger ethnic groups included Pacific Islanders; Filipinos; and Sudanese and other sub-Saharan Africans, many of whom had escaped trauma in their home countries. Nearly 40% of the population had been born overseas, and about the same percentage were under the age of 25. The youth unemployment rate was double the national average.

Resources Dependence Theory

In late 2016, seven years after the first community meeting, the partnership was still going. Many members remained the same, but some had moved on after a four-year period of productive stability. Marist Youth Care CEO Cate Sides had taken over as Chair on the departure of Blacktown Commander Mark Wright in early 2014 and was still enthusiastic and committed to community’s vision (Arenberg & Lowrey, 2019). But Marist was expanding across the eastern seaboard, and some months she needed to send a representative instead of attending the meetings herself. The Blacktown police representative was now a Youth Liaison Officer at the constable level, who was not able to make the same kinds of decisions as Wright had. The expansion of community organization towards eastern seaboard means the need to have both financial sources, and human capital (Mehdibeigi et al., 2020). Marist Youth Care requires to acquire resources from other organizations, community based groups, and from government agencies to promoting its common goals of working with youths that are into crime (Kholmuminov et al., 2019). The resource dependence theory will be critical in understanding how wright achieved it.

The resource dependence theory emphasizes organizational power with regard to accessing additional resources they require for their operations. Nienhüser (2008) argues that organizations do not have all the resources they require, therefore they often establish strategies to acquire the missing resources. Because of the limitation of resources, organizations often look for ways to enhance their acquisition strategy and ensure that the limited resources are utilized optimally. Resource dependence theory also considers internal factors of the organization. One way of getting things done is by developing a strongly shared vision and organizational culture (Graetz & Smith, 2010). If people share a common set of goals, a common perspective on what to do and how to accomplish it, and a common vocabulary that allows them to coordinate their behavior, then command and hierarchical authority are of much less importance.

People will be able to work cooperatively without waiting for orders from the upper levels of the company. Managing through a shared vision and with a strong organizational culture has been a very popular prescription for organizations (Graetz & Smith, 2010). A number of articles and books tell how to build commitment and shared vision and how to socialize individuals, particularly at the time of entry. In the change process, Wright to bring diverse players to engage pushing for the overall vision of developing safe societies. The police station had to collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders to achieve the common objectives of the organization (Cardwell et la., 2017). Wright achieved by ensuring that the police officers understood their roles in eliminating crime among the youths in the CBD area. The acquisition of human capital helped develop a strong team that collaborated towards eliminating crime among the youths.

Power theory

Power theory is a sociology theory that explains the ability to impose the willing of one party over another. The power influence affect relationships between different parties. The power among different parties influences the decision made by social group, governmental agencies and professional organization. According to Nienhüser (2008), a powerful nation can utilize its strength, resource, and skills to compel other nations into submission. A good example is how the United States has been utilizing its military power, knowledge and financial resources to influence other nations to support its interest (Allison, 2020). In the case of Blacktown, power theory played a role in the sense that the juveniles had much influence in the society. Given that Wright viewed juvenile as a minor problem, Wright had at first failed to utilize his power. Therefore, before the formation of community meetings, the power was largely on the young people that acted in oblivious of the legal implications (Graetz & Smith, 2010). However, when he took over the head of the police station, Wright felt that he had gained the power to influence members of the society.

The change process based on the power theory was influenced by both the change of external environment and the agents of change involved. With regard to environmental factors, the change in leadership in Blacktown police station, and the extensive outcry of the members of the public about the issue of juvenile crime in the CBD area (Nienhüser, 2008). Additionally, the presence of CCTV camera played an important role of ensuring that the police had an evidence to examine the magnitude of the problem. Apart from the environmental factors, the agents of change contributed to the success in tackling crime. Wright and his officers were the first agents of change because they helped to drive around and gather information. Secondly, the community leaders also played a critical role in establishing solution measures for the problem affecting the society (De Biasi, 2019). With this change at hand, the rise to leadership of Wright and the police officers took over control of the situation.

Power theory is effective when much power is held by a single party. However, Pfeffer (1992) argues that when power becomes more dispersed, as other parties gain power, it leads to emergence of politics or internal wrangles. For instance, after taking back the control, Wright delegated some powers to the community leaders to promote a collaborative approach towards the issue of juvenile crime. Wright sought intervention of some leaders of major tribes in the CBD area, Africans and Islanders, to help in compelling the youth to embrace good behavior (Benier et al., 2020). Because of the involvement of different parties, it lead to divergent views with regard to the approach that should be used in addressing the problem at hand. In order to address the problem, it meant there was a need to ensure that all the parties had to be engaged in the decision-making process.

After embracing the COM4unity, Wright was able to develop a strong engagement between the different parties. Previously, there was an absent of interdependence as the police did not take the matter to be a resources problem that was utilizing much resources. The youths acted waywardly without any fear of the law because their leaders were also not concerned about the problem. According to Pfeffer (1992), power theory creates a level of interdependence among the different change agents. The establishment of a COM4unity enhanced interdependence among different change agents including Mr. Wright, fellow police officers, and members of the community. Although the collaboration between different parties contributed to dispersal of political power, it enhanced the capability to address the social problem of juvenile crime in Blacktown. Therefore, in promoting effective decision-making process, there was a need to exhibit good leadership that will involve providing all the parties equal opportunity to participate (Pfeffer, 1992). Additionally, with open and honest communication, it was easy to ensure that the change agents would easily raise their issue of concerns with regard to addressing the issue at hand.

Conclusion

In tackling the problem of youth crime, the power theory and resource dependence theory came in handy. The most important thing for an organization is to care about survival; in order to survive, the organization needs resources, and the organization itself usually cannot produce these resources; the organization must interact with the factors in the environment on which it depends, and these factors usually include other organizations; the organization’s survival is based on a control It is based on the ability to relate to other organizations. The high rate of juvenile crime involves many factors. Youth is the future of the country, and we must spend a high price to rectify these behaviors.

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