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Crime: Northern Ireland

Volume 699: debated on Monday 3 March 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

For each year from 1998, how many persons aged under 18 years in Northern Ireland were (a) charged with criminal offences, (b) cautioned or (c) convicted; how many of those convicted had committed (1) sexual offences or (2) crimes of violence; and whether there were any other disposals. [HL1976]

The data are not available in the format requested. In relation to the number charged or reported for prosecution, prior to the introduction of the Causeway programme in June 2005, this information was collated only once the police had prosecuted in court. Figures for 1998 to 2005 therefore relate to the number of persons aged 10 to 17 years who were prosecuted in court. After June 2005, this information was recorded once the police recommended prosecution, which was taken forward by the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland and therefore figures for 2006 and 2007 relate to the number of charges.

Table 1 gives the number of persons aged 10 to 17 years who were prosecuted or charged for offences, and the number subsequently convicted for criminal offences, while table 2 provides information on the disposals given to those convicted.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) weeding policy meant that caution records, for certain offences, after appropriate periods of time were “weeded out” in compliance with data protection and rehabilitation of offenders legislation. Since Bichard (2006), PSNI has stopped weeding. Data are therefore not available for the years 1998 to 2005; in 2006 there were 2,529 cautions and in 2007 there were 1,707 cautions.

A violent crime is defined as one which relates to sexual, violence against the person and robbery offences. Table 3 shows the total number of persons aged 10 to 17 years prosecuted and convicted for violent offences broken down by type of offence, while tables 4 to 7 provide information on disposals given to those convicted for these offences.

Tables 8 and 10 provide information on the number of persons aged 10 to 17 years who were prosecuted and convicted for other non-violent offences broken down by indictable and non-indictable offences, while Tables 9 and 11 provide information on the disposals given to those convicted for these categories.

Data in table 1 cover the calendar years 1998 to 2007 (the latest available year for which charges are available) while data in tables 2 to 11 cover the calendar years 1998 to 2006 (the latest available year for which convictions are available). Data are collated on the principal offence rule, so only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.

Table 1

Number aged 10-17 years prosecuted/charged and convicted 1998-2007

Number prosecuted/charged1

Number convicted

1998

2,203

1,848

1999

1,881

1,586

2000

2,066

1,721

2001

2,029

1,619

2002

2,031

1,667

2003

2,015

1,588

2004

1,958

1,588

2005

1,793

1,455

2006

1,669

1,273

2007

2,927

-

1. Data for 1998 to 2005 relate to the number of prosecutions. (Source: NIO Statistics and Research Branch); Data for 2006 and 2007 relate to the number of charges (Source: PSNI).

2. Conviction data for 2007 are not available.

Table 2

Disposals given to those convicted aged 10 to 17 years 1998-20061

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Immediate custody

259

171

186

147

151

Suspended custody

72

67

55

37

48

Supervision in the Community

542

427

510

473

517

Fine

492

484

464

429

439

Conditional discharge

361

334

383

424

394

Youth Conference Order

-

-

-

-

Other

122

103

123

109

118

Total

1,848

1,586

1,721

1,619

1,667

Table 2 cont.

2003

2004

2005

2006

Immediate custody

139

152

144

89

Suspended custody

64

85

72

32

Supervision in the Community

490

497

443

370

Fine

391

401

348

243

Conditional discharge

367

330

299

206

Youth Conference Order

-

21

72

289

Other

137

102

77

44

Total

1,588

1,588

1,455

1,273

1. Source: NIO Statistics and Research Branch.

Table 3

Number aged 10 to 17 years prosecuted and convicted of violent offences (sexual offences, violence against the person offences and robbery offences) 1998-20061

Sexual offencesViolence against the person offences

Number prosecuted

Number convicted

Number prosecuted

Number convicted

1998

18

18

189

156

1999

18

15

168

144

2000

10

9

182

160

2001

8

3

179

131

2002

8

6

202

151

2003

11

8

219

164

2004

19

13

250

181

2005

16

9

195

146

2006

13

8

213

152

Table 3 cont.

Robbery offencesTotal violent offences

Number prosecuted

Number convicted

Number prosecuted

Number convicted

1998

13

10

220

184

1999

19

18

205

177

2000

23

20

215

189

2001

18

16

205

150

2002

32

31

242

188

2003

25

21

255

193

2004

21

17

290

211

2005

17

8

228

163

2006

13

11

239

171

1. Source: NIO Statistics and Research Branch.

Table 4

Disposals given to those aged 10 to 17 years convicted of sexual offences 1998-20061

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Immediate custody

6

6

2

1

2

Suspended custody

0

0

0

0

0

Supervision in the Community

9

9

6

1

2

Fine

0

0

1

1

0

Conditional discharge

3

0

0

0

2

Youth Conference Order

-

-

-

-

-

Other

0

0

0

0

0

Total

18

15

9

3

6

Table 4 cont.

2003

2004

2005

2006

Immediate custody

0

3

2

2

Suspended custody

0

3

0

1

Supervision in the Community

7

7

5

3

Fine

0

0

0

0

Conditional discharge

1

0

1

2

Youth Conference Order

-

0

0

0

Other

0

0

1

0

Total

8

13

9

8

1. Source: NIO Statistics and Research Branch.

Table 5

Disposals given to those aged 10 to 17 years convicted of offences of violence against the person 1998-20061

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Immediate custody

15

24

16

11

17

Suspended custody

10

9

7

6

10

Supervision in the Community

57

44

56

44

52

Fine

27

31

36

27

28

Conditional discharge

39

26

34

36

37

Youth Conference Order

-

-

-

-

-

Other

8

10

11

7

7

Total

156

144

160

131

151

Table 5 cont.

2003

2004

2005

2006

Immediate custody

17

19

15

18

Suspended custody

13

21

11

11

Supervision in the Community

55

61

49

40

Fine

35

32

31

26

Conditional discharge

37

38

22

21

Youth Conference Order

-

4

12

35

Other

7

6

6

1

Total

164

181

146

152

1. Source: NIO Statistics and Research Branch.

Table 6

Disposals given to those aged 10 to 17 years convicted of robbery offences 1998-20061

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Immediate custody

7

8

6

8

10

Suspended custody

1

3

2

0

3

Supervision in the Community

2

6

10

7

16

Fine

0

0

0

1

0

Conditional discharge

0

1

2

0

2

Youth Conference Order

-

-

-

-

Other

0

0

0

0

0

Total

10

18

20

16

31

Table 6 cont.

2003

2004

2005

2006

Immediate custody

11

7

6

5

Suspended custody

2

1

1

0

Supervision in the Community

7

8

0

4

Fine

0

0

0

0

Conditional discharge

1

1

1

0

Youth Conference Order

-

0

0

2

Other

0

0

0

0

Total

21

17

8

11

1. Source: NIO Statistics and Research Branch.

Table 7

Disposals given to those aged 10 to 17 years convicted of all violent offences (sexual offences, violence against the person offences and robbery offences) 1998-20061

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Immediate custody

28

38

24

20

29

Suspended custody

11

12

9

6

13

Supervision in the Community

68

59

72

52

70

Fine

27

31

37

29

28

Conditional discharge

42

27

36

36

41

Youth Conference Order

-

-

-

-

-

Other

8

10

11

7

7

Total

184

177

189

150

188

Table 7 cont.

2003

2004

2005

2006

Immediate custody

28

29

23

25

Suspended custody

15

25

12

12

Supervision in the Community

69

76

54

47

Fine

35

32

31

26

Conditional discharge

39

39

24

23

Youth Conference Order

-

4

12

37

Other

7

6

7

1

Total

193

211

163

171

1. Source: NIO Statistics and Research Branch.

Table 8

Number aged 10 to 17 years prosecuted and convicted for indictable non-violent crimes1 1998-20062

Number prosecuted

Number convicted

1998

1,112

927

1999

918

760

2000

1,078

859

2001

1,011

784

2002

942

740

2003

935

714

2004

922

735

2005

896

716

2006

825

614

1. Includes the following indictable offence classes: burglary, theft, fraud and forgery, criminal damage, offences against the state, drugs and other offences.

2. Source: NIO Statistics and Research Branch.

Table 9

Disposals given to those convicted aged 10 to 17 years for indictable non-violent crimes1 1998-20062

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Immediate custody

190

112

127

101

86

Suspended custody

47

40

41

26

19

Supervision in the Community

356

278

345

306

316

Fine

112

101

104

98

91

Conditional discharge

203

202

226

234

215

Youth Conference Order

-

-

-

-

-

Other

19

27

16

19

13

Total

927

760

859

784

740

Table 9 cont.

2003

2004

2005

2006

Immediate custody

79

92

90

49

Suspended custody

37

44

42

12

Supervision in the Community

311

320

279

226

Fine

74

74

69

30

Conditional discharge

207

184

174

99

Youth Conference Order

-

14

51

194

Other

6

7

11

4

Total

714

735

716

614

1. Includes the following indictable offence classes: burglary, theft, fraud and forgery, criminal damage, offences against the state, drugs and other offences.

2. Source: NIO Statistics and Research Branch.

Table 10

Number aged 10 to 17 years prosecuted and convicted for non-indictable crimes 1998-20061

Number prosecuted

Number convicted

1998

871

737

1999

758

649

2000

773

673

2001

813

685

2002

847

739

2003

825

681

2004

746

642

2005

669

576

2006

579

488

1. Source: NIO Statistics and Research Branch.

Table 11

Disposals given to those convicted aged 10 to 17 years for non-indictable crimes 1998-20061

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Immediate custody

41

21

35

26

36

Suspended custody

14

15

5

5

16

Supervision in the Community

118

90

93

115

131

Fine

353

352

323

302

320

Conditional discharge

116

105

121

154

138

Youth Conference Order

-

-

-

-

-

Other

95

66

96

83

98

Total

737

649

673

685

739

Table 11 cont.

2003

2004

2005

2006

Immediate custody

32

31

31

15

Suspended custody

12

16

18

8

Supervision in the Community

110

101

110

97

Fine

282

295

248

187

Conditional discharge

121

107

101

84

Youth Conference Order

-

3

9

58

Other

124

89

59

39

Total

681

642

576

488

1. Source: NIO Statistics and Research Branch.