Press clipping: Research
A GENERATION of hardened child criminals has escaped justice, it was revealed yesterday.
Tens of thousands of repeat youth offenders have never been brought before the courts - let alone been punished.
The findings by a team of academics suggest the delinquents have either been ignored by police or have been released with just a caution or an informal warning.
They also suggest a link between remorselessly rising crime figures and the failure since the 1980s to prevent child offenders turning into habitual criminals.
According to the analysis of Home Office crime data, young criminals between ten and 14 were nearly nine times more likely to be hauled before the courts in the mid-70s than in the late 80s and early 90s.
Persistent offenders were five times less likely to face court in the 90s than 20 years before.
And the research suggests that nearly 10,000 persistent child offenders each year who would have been convicted in the Seventies are now unlikely to appear in a court at all.