Siouxland officials speak on preventing youth crime

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – According to the Sioux City Police Department, there have been three murder investigations this year. Two of which were suspects under the age of 18.

Sgt. Jeremy McClure said that youth crimes often involve low-level misdemeanor crimes such as thefts, simple assaults, and harassment.

“It’s unusual to see such young people perpetrating homicides typically but again it’s not unusual to see people in this age range perpetrating violent crimes,” Sgt. McClure said.

He said people in their late teens and early twenties are often responsible for a majority of the violent crimes in Sioux City such as crimes involving guns and felony-level assaults.

McClure adds it’s crucial parents stay engaged with their kids.

“It’s not just the police that can affect this problem it’s everybody from the parents to the schools to outside organizations that deal with the youth that can have a positive impact on the direction that these kids take in life,” Sgt. McClure said.

One of those organizations is Big Brother Big Sisters of Siouxland.

“That’s where we come in and we help develop, we help nurture that relationship one to one,” Jetske Wauran-Castro, with Big Brothers Big Sisters, said.

BBBS pairs each boy and girl in the program with a big sister or brother.

“Any big can spend as little as four hours a month to help make a difference in a child’s life. And so you can do anything from eating out, playing an activity outside going to the movies… As far as preventing crime it’s also keeping our bigs and little busy providing resources and activities for them to get hands one experiences instead of being out in the afternoon who knows where not having that parental guidance. Instead that’s what we do. That’s what we provide,” Wauran-Castro said.

BBBS is looking for big brothers. You can apply here.

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