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25 June 2012, 14:23
A Cambridge University study into youth crime in Peterborough has shown a third of young people in the city have never broken the law.
Researchers followed 700 12 to 16 year olds over the course of ten years, and logged each crime that they admitted committing.
The research showed:
It's hoped the study will help influence the way the government and police forces across the country deal with youth crime.
Researchers also hope their findings will lead to a more positive perception of young people.
Professor Per-Olof H Wikström, who led the study, said: "Many young people are 'crime-averse' and simply don't perceive crime as a possible course of action - it doesn?t matter what the situation is.
The idea that opportunity makes the thief - that young people will inevitably commit crime in certain environments - runs counter to our findings.
Rather, only the 'crime-prone' become vulnerable to said opportunities when taking part in environments with a moral context that encourages, or, at least, does not discourage, crime."