The last survey carried out by the Home Office into the characteristics of children and young people involved in crime was the Offending, Crime and Justice Survey in 2006 which was a self-report survey of a sample of young people aged 10 to 25 asking about their involvement in offending, drug use and anti-social behaviour.
However, the Home Office makes use of a wide range of survey, academic and administrative data to inform government’s understanding of the risk factors for children and young people becoming involved in crime. This evidence has been drawn upon to inform the Modern Crime Prevention Strategy (2016) and, more recently, the Serious Violence Strategy (2018). Deprivation has been identified as one a wide range of risk factors associated with involvement in offending. However, these risks interact in complex ways to make some people more prone to involvement in crime than others. The evidence also shows that not all those who grow up in poverty go on to become offenders, and not all offenders come from deprived backgrounds.