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Juvenile Delinquency

Volume 481: debated on Wednesday 22 November 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that cases of juvenile delinquency have fallen appreciably in number except for children 8 to 13 years of age; and why this is so and what remedy he has in mind.

In 1949, the number of juveniles, including children aged 8 to 13, found guilty of indictable offences at magistrates' courts fell appreciably as compared with 1948, but in 1950 the numbers have been rising again. Provisional figures for the first nine months of 1950 for England and Wales show that 19,767 boys and girls under the age of 14, and 11,772 aged 14–17. were found guilty of indictable offences and dealt with in magistrates' courts. The figures for the corresponding period of 1949 were 18,820 and 11,446. The increases were thus 947 and 326, or 5 per cent. and 2.8 per cent. The relatively greater increase in the under 14 group cannot be assigned to any one cause. Local authorities generally are acting on the memorandum on juvenile delinquency which was issued in April, 1949, by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education and myself.