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Juvenile Delinquency

Volume 462: debated on Tuesday 1 March 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he can give figures indicating the trend of juvenile delinquency in Scotland during and since the war and, in particular, the relative incidence in delinquency in 1947 and 1948; and what action he proposes to take.

The number of charges proved against children and young persons in Scotland since 1938 is as follows: 1938, 15,379; 1939, 14,951; 1940, 18,592; 1941, 18,552; 1942, 19,174; 1943, 19,724; 1944, 19,450; 1945, 20,244; 1946, 17,050; 1947, 16,047; 1948, 18,614.The figures for 1948 are thus 15.9 per cent. higher than those for 1947. The increase was 17.4 per cent. in the case of children under 14 and 14.6 per cent. in the case of young persons between 14 and 17. The peak age for both boys and girls was 16.A National Convention on Juvenile Delinquency was held in Edinburgh in 1944 when the views of responsible bodies and persons were given on the best methods of combating juvenile delinquency. Since then such remedial action as is possible has been taken. I do not think that the calling of another conference would meanwhile serve any useful purpose but I am considering the position carefully.