Written 3rd February 2014 by Olliers Solicitors

The latest Annual Youth Justice Statistics 2012/13 published last week, show that the number of young people in the youth justice system has continued to fall, reflecting a continuing gradual reduction in juvenile crime.

Juvenile Crime

Compared with 2009/10 there have been:

  • 57 per cent fewer reprimands, final warnings or conditional cautions
  • 55 per cent fewer young people coming into the youth justice system
  • 50 per cent fewer proven offences

Youth Offending Teams reported working with 49,222 children and young people last year which shows a 54 per cent reduction since 2009/10.

The numbers for those held in custody has fallen to its lowest level. In 2013, there were 1,544 under-18s in custody; down by 21 per cent with a fall of 3,029 since 2002/03. The number of young people re-offending has also dropped every year since 2007/08, with particular reductions among those with no previous offences.

Re-offending Rates

However, as the total number of young people in the system continues to fall, a greater proportion go on to re-offend; 35.5 per cent up 1.8 percentage points from 2000.

Lin Hinnigan, Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Board, said:

“It is very encouraging that the youth justice system has continued to deliver reductions in both the number of young people entering the system and the number of young people held in custody. These achievements are a great credit to the wide range of agencies involved in working with young people who are at risk of offending or have offended.

“However, whilst the number of young people re-offending has fallen, re-offending by a small group of challenging and troubled young people remains high. This remains a priority for the YJB in the coming year, as we enter the second phase of a three year programme of work to address this issue. We have been working with Youth Offending Teams to more fully understand the re-offending cohort in order to direct our efforts where maximum impact can be achieved.”

Ruth Peters

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