Compared with the total juvenile population the number of offenders is small, but as has been already stated there was a substantial rise in that number during the first two years of the war. Figures for the subsequent period from September, 1941, are not yet available. The increase is due mainly if not entirely to war conditions. Whether any further steps can profitably be taken at the present time for ascertaining with greater particularity the causes of the increase is a matter receiving attention, but I think the most important thing is to develop as vigorously as possible remedial measures, and this, as my hon. Friend knows, is the policy which the Home Office and Board of Education have been pursuing in consultation with the local education authorities and the voluntary organisations.
I cannot be sure. We are doing our best to investigate these cases and will do all we can, but my hon. Friend will realise that having regard to war conditions there are many other things that are a strain on Government Departments just now.