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Young People and Official Crime Statistics

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Essay on young people and statistics…
The peak age for offending is between 15 and 20, with the proportion of this age group found guilty of or cautioned for indictable offences (more serious offences tried by a judge in a crown court, or a juvenile court) around 5 times as high as the average for all ages. Around a fifth of all those cautioned or convicted in any year for indictable offences are aged 10-17, and one third are under 21. Cooper and Roe (2012) estimate 10-17 year olds account for all recorded crime, with nearly 85% of this committed by males. A 2002 self-report survey found that almost half of Britain’s secondary school students admitted to breaking the law. Roe and Ashe (2008), based on findings from the 2006 offending, crime and justice survey, found 22% of 10 to 25 year olds admitted to committing at least one of twenty core offences in the previous 12 months with theft and assault making up the main offences.
The reason most often given for law-breaking by young people are to impress others, and boredom. The edinborogh Study of Youth Transitions and Crimeis a continuous longitudinal study of events in the lives of 4300 young people who were aged 11-12 in autumn 1998. This found that about half the offences commited by 11-15 year olds involved rowdiness and fighting in the street with the rest consistently mainly of shop lifting (usually sweets) and vandalism (usually graffiti). While many young people will break the law at some stage, the kinds of offences they commit are usually fairly trivial, opportunistic, short lived and isolated incident and related to peer group activities, such as under-age drinking, vandalism and shoplifting.
There are several inter-related factors which combine to explain the link between age and offending. Some of which consist of weakened social bonds, which would otherwise discourage crime and deviance due to...

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