Youngsters most likely to reoffend
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.”