Social media reveals violence among Estonian youth gangs

The new trend of filming and sharing videos of acts of violence has thrown a spotlight on youth aggression in Tallinn's streets.

Marian Männi
Marian Männi Eesti Ekspress, Estonia
Source: Eesti Ekspress
Social media reveals violence among Estonian youth gangs - NewsMavens
Teenage boy. Pexels

Why this story matters:

In June, the UK police predicted that over 100 young people would be killed this summer in London. This is because the summer holidays are the prime time for children on the fringes of gang culture to be recruited into criminality, The Guardian reported.

Estonia's capital Tallinn is another perfect example of "holiday violence" amongst youth as gang culture has been flourishing this summer, and the latest trend is film violent crimes.

Leaked images have shocked Estonians who are calling out for greater safety in central Tallinn. Gangs, mainly from the largely Russian speaking suburb of Lasnamäe, like to gather in a park near the old town.

In the midst of criticism towards public officials for not doing enough to combat the violence, the Minister of Justice created a round table with different experts in the field to address the issue.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas along with the Minister of Justice, Urmas Reinsalu, and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Andres Anvelt, along with policemen and journalists went to visit the area where the gangs were reported to gather.

Not surprisingly all the gang members had fled by the time the official delegation arrived, making it evident that the government has no idea what it's doing.

Everyone seems to offer a different solution, but the main question in the nationwide debate is: what would keep the streets of Tallinn safer -- locking up the underage criminals, or speaking to them and trying to understand them?

Details from the story:

  • There have been many incidents of heavy beatings and robberies reported.
  • The beatings are often filmed and uploaded to private social media groups in Snapchat, Messenger or Instagram.
  • The gangs gather in the park in central Tallinn usually at midday and spend the afternoon and evening drinking and smoking.
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