30 Aug 2012
Children aged between 10 and 15 have been responsible for more than 100,000 crimes and offences across Scotland over the past three years.
Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have shown how assault and vandalism are the most common crimes among that age group.
The revelation comes weeks after it emerged youngsters under the age of 10 were responsible for more than 3,600 incidents over the last three years.
The overall trend of those aged between 10 and 15 being detected in Scotland is falling, but rates still remain high, with an average of 80 offences a day being recorded.
The statistics revealed there were 295 occasions where a youngster was detected for rape or other sexual offences.
The Freedom of Information figures showed there were more than 5,000 cases of assault, while vandalism accounted for nearly 4,000 crimes.
Children in the age bracket were caught in possession of a knife 552 times last year, many of which occurred in schools.
Scottish Conservative justice spokesman David McLetchie MSP said:
“What does it say about society that over the past three years we’ve had tens of thousands of children running around the country committing serious crimes and carrying weapons?
“Criminal behaviour at a young age has to be nipped in the bud, otherwise it may become a lifetime of crime.
“I appreciate that the numbers have fallen over the last three years, but people will be shocked at the sheer scale that remains and the Scottish Government needs to address this.
“We also have to question what responsibility some parents are taking for the criminal behaviour of their children, and if the authorities should be providing more support for them.
Notes to Editors
In Scotland, youngsters aged between eight and 12 cannot be prosecuted in the criminal courts, and are instead referred to the Children’s Hearing System.
Those aged between 12 and 15 can be prosecuted in criminal courts, though the majority of cases are heard by the Children’s Hearing System.