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Crimes of Violence: Young People

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of children under 16 years of age who were the victims of (a) gun, (b) knife and (c) all violent crime in each year since 1997. (200512)

Relevant information on firearm offences (excluding air weapons) is available only for the years 2004-05 to 2006-07. It is not possible to identify offences involving knives from the data centrally collected on overall recorded crime. Since April 2007, police forces have been providing separate data on serious violence involving knives. As these are aggregate returns it will not be possible to determine the age of victims.

The age of all violent crime victims is not collected centrally. Available information relates to the number of homicides of persons aged under 16 years between 1997 and 2006-07, where the apparent method of killing was 'sharp instrument' or 'shooting'.

Offences involving victims under 16 years old: England and Wales, 1997 to 2006-071

Year offence recorded

1997

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

(a) Firearms2

2,042

1,745

1,315

(b) Knives3

(c) Homicide4

82

71

81

65

98

62

93

72

58

52

68

of which involved apparent method:

Sharp instrument5

6

6

2

8

6

9

6

11

1

4

7

Shooting6

2

2

0

0

2

5

2

2

2

0

5

1 Data for 2007-08 are scheduled to be published in January 2009.

2 Excluding air weapons. The age of firearm offence victims has been collected centrally only since April 2004. 3 Data are not centrally collected. 4 Homicide data are as at 12 November 2007, when recording closed down for the purpose of analysis, and will change as subsequent court hearings take place or other information is received. Offences are shown according to the year in which the police initially recorded the offence as homicide. This is not necessarily the year in which the incident took place or the year in which any court decision was made. 5 Includes knives and other sharp instruments. 6 Includes shooting by crossbows.