Youngsters most likely to re­of­fend

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - NEWS -

A quar­ter of young of­fend­ers in Maid­stone re­of­fend within a year, ac­cord­ing to a Min­istry of Jus­tice re­port.

Fig­ures show of the 73 un­der 18s given a cau­tion, non-cus­to­dial con­vic­tion or cus­tody, 18 went on to re-of­fend within a year, with each com­mit­ting an av­er­age three of­fences within that pe­riod.

There were 220 pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions recorded among the 73 young of­fend­ers.

In Eng­land and Wales, 42% of ju­ve­nile of­fend­ers took part in another crime within a year, com­mit­ting an av­er­age of 3.9 of­fences each.

The Min­istry of Jus­tice has cau­tioned that, since the fig­ures only mea­sure of­fences re­sult­ing in con­vic­tions or cau­tions, this could be a sig­nif­i­cant un­der­es­ti­mate of the true level of re­of­fend­ing, which is more preva­lent in youths than adults.

Youth jus­tice prac­ti­tioner on the Law So­ci­ety crim­i­nal law com­mit­tee, Greg Ste­wart, said that the way that ju­ve­nile crime is han­dled could be be­hind high youth re­of­fend­ing rates.

Mr Ste­wart said chil­dren tend to only ap­pear in court for more se­ri­ous crimes, rather than mi­nor mis­de­meanours.

He added: “As a re­sult, those young peo­ple who are left still of­fend­ing are the ‘ker­nel’ of of­fend­ers, of­ten with com­plex and com­pound is­sues and se­ri­ous prob­lems at home and school.”

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