Children (Offences)

Home Department written question – answered on 16th October 2006.

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Photo of Lynne Featherstone Lynne Featherstone Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Development), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children under the age of 14 years were (a) convicted in the Crown court, (b) acquitted after Crown court trial and (c) found to be unfit to plead in the Crown court in relation to charges of (i) murder, (ii) manslaughter, (iii) rape, (iv) serious drug offences and (v) other crimes in each of the last five years; and how many of those children were in care in each year.

Photo of Gerry Sutcliffe Gerry Sutcliffe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Data from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform for the number of children under the age of 14 years who were convicted or acquitted in the Crown court between 2000 and 2004 can be found in the following table. No children under 14 years of age were found to be unfit to plead.

Data on the number of these children who were in care are not held centrally.

Data for 2005 will be available in mid-November.

Number of children under 14 years convicted or acquitted at the Crown court, for various offences in England and Wales, 2000 to 2004( 1, 2)
Defendants
Murder Manslaughter Rape Drug offences Other crimes Total
Convicted
2000 0 1 1 1 145 148
2001 2 0 5 0 150 157
2002 0 0 1 1 153 155
2003 0 0 1 0 76 77
2004 0 1 3 3 75 82
Acquittals
2000 0 0 7 0 89 96
2001 0 0 4 0 66 70
2002 0 0 88 1 75 84
2003 0 0 7 0 57 64
2004 0 0 7 0 50 57
(1 )These data are provided on the principal offence basis. (2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by court and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. Source: RDS Office for Criminal Justice Reform.

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