CRIMES involving children as young as 10 years old are becoming common in PNG society, according to senior National and Supreme Court judge Justice Panuel Mogish.
Justice Mogish said the perpetrators of serious crimes, such as murders, thefts and sexual offences, were juveniles and the victims were also very young children, indicating that “we have a very serious law and order problem in our society”.
He said children as young as three were becoming victims of crime because the Government system was becoming weaker and parents were no longer taking their responsibility over their children’s upbringing seriously.
“Crime against children and women, and the elderly and disabled people is prevalent in our society because the system is weak and parents have failed to groom and nurture their children at home.
“In the past, young people showed great respect for the elderly people and children were innocent because they grew up with parental guidance, one orientated on values and principles.”
Justice Mogish said this while speaking at the graduation of Grade Eight students at Baso Primary School on Lou Island, Manus province, last week.
He said change could only come about in society when children practice good values and principles.
Some of these values include attending church, participating in sports and showing obedience to parents.
Judge Mogish said more often, Christmas was marred by violence because young people misrepresented the true meaning of Christmas.
He told the graduating students to refrain from illicit drugs and alcohol during this festive season and to attend church and celebrate Christmas in the true meaning by remembering the birth of Christ.
Justice Mogish was with Chief Ombudsman Chronox Manek, Public Solicitor Frazer Pitpit and university lecturer Jacob Morewaya in Manus to conduct awareness on witchcraft, deaths, crime investigations and court procedures when they were invited to attend the graduation in Lou Island.