Young Offenders: Reoffenders

Justice written question – answered at on 30 March 2009.

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Photo of David Howarth David Howarth Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what percentage of (a) people and (b) women aged from 18 to 24 years old who received a criminal conviction in the last 12 months had previously been convicted of one or more criminal offences when under the age of 18.

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Data held by the Ministry of Justice show that, of the 128,000 offenders aged between 18 and 24 who were sentenced by courts in England and Wales in 2007 and whose sentence was recorded on the police national computer, 40 per cent. (51,000) had previously been convicted under the age of 18. The equivalent figure for female offenders is 29 per cent. (4,600 out of a total of 15,900 offenders).

These figures have been drawn from the police's administrative IT system which, as with any large scale recording system, is subject to possible errors with data entry and processing. The figures are provisional and subject to change as more information is recorded by the police.

Overall the number of adult reoffences has fallen 23 per cent. between 2000 and 2006, and in particular there has been a reduction of 13 per cent. between 2005 and 2006. The number of reoffences classified as serious fell by 11.1 per cent. from 2000 to 2006.

The number of young people entering the criminal justice system for the first time is falling. The number in England fell from 103,955 in 2006-07, to 93,601 in 2007-08, a drop of 10 per cent.

The rate of reoffences committed fell by 1.5 per cent. from 125.0 offences per 100 offenders in 2005 to 123.1 in 2006. The rate of reoffences classified as serious fell by 8.0 per cent. from 0.90 serious offences per 100 offenders in 2005 to 0.83 in 2006.

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