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Knife display
Youth culture in Spain is totally different to that back in the UK - it is one of the reasons many families move here. You hardly ever hear of knife crime here - and when you do its almost always Ex-Pat youths who have had too much to drink or East European gangs that are involved.
 In the UK its almost a weekly occurance on the news that yet another 15/16 year old has been fatally stabbed ..... enough to put the fear of God into most parents yet relief to know that your own child is safe.

There is a different mentality here - most of the youth get involved in the penya activities such as playing in the band and constructing floats and costumes for the numerous parades. Inner city gang culture virtually doesn't exisit here.
Realistic looking BB Guns
However, walking through Benidorm I was shocked and dismayed at how easy it is to purchase knives. They are on full display, albeit behind glass but "cheap as chips". I wonder who on earth buys them ..... and also "BB Guns" which are so realistic looking that Im sure they could easiy be mistaken for the real thing. Anyone with "ill intentions" would be in heaven here. Back in the UK any DIY shop selling such items would have to have them in alarmed cabinets together with the glue and solvents !

I sent my 14 year old son into one of the shops and was disturbed that he had no problem purchasing either items and was not asked his age or if he was with an adult. I suppose that it doesn't occur to the shopkeepers that they could or would be used as a weapon against another child as it so rarely happens here.... or perhaps they are just interested in a sale regardless to whom?

Although thankfully this "gang knife culture" is still relatively unheard of here, Spain is about 10 years behind - as the UK is about 10 years behind the United States - so perhaps it will surface here eventually.

But in some cases they certainly are not behind.  For instance, I am still shocked that the age of consent here in Spain is 13 !  At 13 I was still  playing in the street with my friends - its so sad that children can't be children anymore but are so heavily brainwashed by media images of what they should be doing and wearing, especiallly girls. The clothing stores don't help matters either - selling "inappropriate" clothing for very young girls. I remember seeing a toddler of about 3 earlier this year on a flight wearing a T-Shirt with the words " WAG in training" and another with "Porn Star" on a child of about 6 ... yes I had to do a double take. What are the manufacturers thinking ... but more to the point, what on earth are the mothers thinking allowing them to wear them in the first place !

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