Somewhere Only We Know Keane
16 March 2010, 10:07
New figures from Cambridgeshire Police have revealed that a total of 1,050 children aged between 10 and 15 years old were given warnings for committing serious crimes in 2009.
19 of those children were just ten years old, and reprimanded for crimes like actual bodily harm, theft from a shop and common assault.
79 eleven year olds were given warnings for crimes including criminal damage to a vehicle, possession of weapons and robbery of personal property.
One 12 year old child was warned for possession of firearms with intent.
Other crimes committed by children of that age include threats to kill, arson not endangering life and handling stolen goods.
A number of children aged between 13 and 15 years old were reprimanded for possession of article with a blade or point, possession of controlled drugs and assaulting a constable.
The news comes days after the government's children's commissioner, Maggie Atkinson, called for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised from 10 to 12.
A spokeswoman for Cambridgeshire police said the majority of young people who were given a reprimand did not go on to commit further crimes.
She said: ''We will look at the actions and attitudes of each offender and assess them individually.
''If there is a group of three or four people involved in a burglary, some might be charged and some might receive a final warning and some a reprimand.
''In about 70 per cent of cases, those who are given a reprimand do not enter the criminal justice system again.''