154 children under the age of 12 arrested for sex crimes including rape last year
- Total of 154 children aged 12 and under arrested for sex crimes last year
- Police also held a total of 3,273 children aged under 13 for serious crimes
- Just one in five ended up in court and others were released without charge
- Metropolitan Police held 638 ten to 12-year-olds during the 12 month period
More than 150 children under the age of 12 were arrested for sex crimes last year, it has emerged.
Data from 38 police forces across England and Wales reveals the extent of child crimes among young people.
The figures show that a total of 154 children aged 12 and under were arrested for sex crimes, including rape and sexual assault.
Data from 38 police forces across England and Wales reveals the extent of child crimes among young people, and shows that police held a total of 3,273 children aged under 13 for serious crimes last year (file picture)
The data also reveals that police held a total of 3,273 children aged under 13 for serious crimes last year, including rape, sexual assault, robbery, kidnap and issuing death threats.
Of those arrested, just one in five ended up in court and many were released without punishment.
Others were reprimanded, given a caution or ordered to apologise to their victim.
In London, a total of 29 children aged ten to 12 were questioned over alleged rape offences from April 2013 until March this year. Of those, three ended up in court.
Metropolitan Police also held a total of 26 children of the same age bracket during the same period for sexual assaults, and of those, two were sent to court.
In addition, 55 were held over criminal damage offences, but only four of those were charged and sent to appear at court. A total of 49 children of the same age range were also questioned over theft from a shop, and of those, five were charged and sent to court.
In total, Met Police pulled in 638 ten to 12-year-olds during the 12 month period.
Elsewhere in the country, Nottinghamshire Police arrested a total of 77 children, aged ten to 12, last year. Of those, 27 were charged while 21 were cautioned. The others were released without charge.
The force arrested two youngsters on suspicion of rape offences, and ten over alleged assault offences.
The figures also show that Lincolnshire Police arrested one 12-year-old a total of 13 times last year for alleged crimes, The Sun reported.
The figures reveal that a total of 154 children aged 12 and under were arrested for sex crimes (file picture)
Figures from Avon and Somerset Police show that the force arrested a total of 159 boys aged ten to 12 last year, and 52 girls. However, data released by the force reveals that none of the arrests were for rape or sexual assault offences.
Devon and Cornwall Police figures reveal that a total of 26 11 to 14-year-olds were arrested on suspicion of sexual assault in the force area from April 2013 until March this year, while 32 15 to 17-year-olds were detained for the same offences during that period.
Of those arrests for sex crimes, ten were in relation to rape offences, while 29 were for sexual assault. Five were for exposure, two for voyeurism, while the others were for sexual activity with a child and inciting others to engage in sexual acts with an under 16.
Ministry of Justice figures reveal that more than 1,000 children aged ten to 12 have been taken to court in the last two years.
Peter Cuthbertson, director of the Centre for Crime Prevention, told The Sun: ‘The victims – usually other children – are hardly likely to feel better knowing the criminals got off because of their age.’
Children under ten are not deemed ‘criminally responsible’ and cannot be charged.
Instead, they can be given a local child curfew – which bans children from being in a public place between 9pm and 6am, unless accompanied by an adult – or a child safety order, which places the offender under the supervision of a youth offending team.