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Young Persons (Indictable Offences)

Volume 462: debated on Tuesday 1 March 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how the number of children and young persons found guilty of offences in 1948 compares with the number in 1947.

Provisional figures for the year 1948 for England and Wales show that 26,715 boys and girls under the age of 14, and 16,991 aged 14–17, were found guilty of indictable offences and dealt with in magistrates' courts. The corresponding figures for 1947 were 21,152 and 13,861. The increases in 1948 were thus 5,563 and 3,130, or 26 per cent. and 23 per cent.Provisional figures for those found guilty of indictable offences at all courts in England and Wales in 1948 per 100,000 of the population of their age group show 1,433 boys aged 8–14 and 1,907 aged 14–17, and 123 girls aged 8–14 and 212 aged 14–17. The corresponding figures for 1947 were 1,140, 1,515, 96 and 178. The peak age for these offenders in 1948 was for boys and girls alike 14–15, being 2,065 per 100,000 of the population of boys of that age group and 217 of girls. The corresponding figures for these age groups in 1947 were 1,490 and 171, but the peak ages in that year were 12–13 for boys and 16 for girls, the numbers being 1,634 and 193 per 100,000 of the population in the age group for boys and girls respectively.