Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi says police and the justice system need to act more harshly against youths involved in crime.

He was addressing a stakeholder meeting in Thembalethu in George in the Southern Cape about crime levels at high schools in the area.

Mkongi says there’s been a spike in crime among learners.

He says they want the justice system to assist especially with boys who are younger than 16 years.

Mkongi says they need to deal with them harshly.

He adds: “We don’t says social development must not do its own job in terms of diversion, but those who are going to repeat doing this, we must make sure we clean up the gangsterism beginning in this area.”