Police cautions for 10-year-olds
ARSON and sexual assault were among the offences that led to 13 cautions for children aged 10 and 11 in Thames Valley last year.
The youngsters in the police force area were given cautions for sexual assault on a girl aged under 13 and sexual activity with a child aged under 13, as well as arson, burglary and assault causing actual bodily harm, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice.
Police also gave 190 cautions to 12 to 14-yearolds in 2014, including two cautions for firearms offences, 13 for possession of a blade, one for rape of a boy aged under 13, one each for sexual assault on a boy under 13 and on a girl under 13, as well as one for kidnapping and two for wasting police time.
There were 161 cautions given to 15-year-olds, including for making or distributing an indecent image of a child, sexual assault on a female and perverting the course of justice.
Cautions given out to under 16s are down, from 148 cautions for 10 and 11-year-olds in 2004, 1,302 for 12 to 14-yearolds and 722 for 15-yearolds.
Across England and Wales, 10 and 11-year- olds were cautioned 810 times in 2014, up from 585 time in 2013, but down from 5,566 times in 2004.
Older children are more likely to be cautioned but figures are falling for these age groups as well, with 5,520 cautions for 12 to 14-year-olds, down from 40,344 in 2004, and 4,229 for 15-year-olds, down 21,663 in 2004.
The fall in the number of cautions most likely reflects both a fall in crime rates and a move away from cautions, either towards charges for more serious crimes or restorative justice measures for offences such as criminal damage.