I would like to submit a Freedom of Information request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Please can you tell me the following information for the last three financial years and current numbers ie; 2016/17, 2015/16, 2014/15 and 2013/14
1) number of crimes committed by children aged 10 and under
2) nature of the crime
3) outcome of the crime
4) youngest age recorded
Please find attached our response. It is important to note that offender age is calculated from the date of birth as recorded on our crime system. We are however aware of data quality issues with regard to the recording of dates of birth and therefore the figures presented may not be accurate. This however is the closest information, relevant to your request, that we are able to extract from our systems without undertaking a manual examination of records that would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12 (1)).
Please also note, children under the age of 10 are not considered to have reached an age where they can be held responsible for their crimes. Because they are under the age of ‘criminal responsibility’ they cannot be charged with any criminal offence. No child under the age of ten shall be guilty of a crime, however they can still commit an offence which will be recorded. The Home Office Counting Rules state …. ‘All reports of crimes made where the offender (if age known or otherwise) is under the age of 10 years should be recorded as a crime’.
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 a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.
The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.
If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.