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Young Offenders

Volume 78: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of offenders (a) under 17 and (b) under 16 years who have committed indictable offences in each of the last 10 years have been (i) sentenced by courts, (ii) cautioned by the police or (iii) otherwise dealt with respectively.

Information on offenders sentenced and cautioned for indictable offences is published annually in "Criminal Statistics England and Wales" (Chapters 5 and 7 of the issue for 1983, Cmnd. 9349, and in the supplementary volumes). The proportions requested for those aged under 17 are given in the following table. Corresponding information for offenders aged under 16 for earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Information is not collected centrally on offenders who were dealt with other than by a police caution or court proceedings. Corresponding information for 1984 is not yet available.

Persons sentenced at all courts or cautioned by police for indictable offences
England and WalesPercentage of total
Age and YearSentencedCautioned
Aged 10 and under 17
197450·449·6
197550·749·3
197652·147·9
197748·751·3
197851·049·0
197949·850·2
198051·348·7
198149·650·4
198246·753·3
198343·756·3
Aged 10 and under 16
198344·255·8

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of offenders (a) under 17 and (b) under 16 years who have been dealt with by courts for indictable offences in each of the last 10 years have received custodial sentences and care orders, respectively.

The information requested for offenders aged under 17 is published in "Criminal Statistics, England and Wales, 1983" (Cmnd. 9349, tables 7A and 7.5–7.8) and also for the year ending 30 June 1984 in tables 2 and 3 of Home Office statistical bulletin 12/85.For offenders aged under 16, about 7 per cent, of those sentenced for indictable offences in 1983 received a custodial sentence (detention centre, borstal or youth custody) and about 4 per cent, were given a care order; corresponding information for earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Complete information for 1984 is not yet available.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether any information is available from research or surveys indicating the percentage of young offenders in custody who had been expelled from school or received home tuition;(2) whether any information is available from research or surveys indicating the percentage of young offenders in custody who have no education qualifications;(3) whether any information is available from research or surveys indicating the percentage of offenders aged 16 to 18 years in custody who were unemployed at the time of their offence or reception;(4) whether any information is available from research or surveys indicating the percentage of young offenders who are from one-parent families.

There is a body of general research on the factors associated with offending by young people, but we are not aware of any research or surveys which give the specific information requested by the hon. Member.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any information is available from research or surveys indicating the percentage of juvenile offenders in custody who have been in care.

The reports "Offending by Young People" (DHSS, 1981) and "Tougher Regimes in Detention Centres" (HMSO, 1984) contain relevant information at paragraphs 79 ff and 2.21, respectively.