Shocking new statistics reveal that 32 per cent of all burglaries in England and Wales are committed by children – and less than a third of the total number of crimes reported resulted in a conviction.
Of the 291,567 burglaries where an offender was caught, 95,872 were aged under 18. And of the total burglaries committed between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2013, less than a third of the offenders were caught and prosecuted, the Daily Mail reports.
The statistics were gathered by security company ADT who submitted Freedom of Information requests to 43 police stations in England and Wales.
Of the 23 forces who responded to the request, the highest number of child burlgars were found in urban areas, including Greater Manchester and Greater London, as well as Nottingham.
This corresponds with research into child poverty in the UK, which found that ten of the twenty boroughs where child poverty was the greatest were in London, followed by Manchester and other cities.
Spokeswoman for ADT Gail Hunter said: “We have found that some of the worst affected victims of burglary are children, yet these statistics have shown that the perpetrators of the crimes are children themselves.
“Our aim is to deter burglars and give householders peace of mind.”
But it was Nottinghamshire which had the highest rate of light-fingered minors, at 43 per cent of those caught, with Greater Manchester at 41 per cent and London at 37 per cent.
The county with the lowest number of children who were caught committing burglaries was Wiltshire, which contains areas of considerable wealth, at three per cent. But only four police forces out of the total who replied responded with a child burglary figure of less than 15 per cent.
Norfolk registered 9.8 per cent, Thames Valley 13.9 per cent and Durham had 14 per cent.
The Director of Victim Support, John Hayward Cripps, said: “From supporting thousands of burglary victims every year, we know that what they want most is for no one else to suffer like they have.
“It’s sad that the young people committing these crimes are detrimentally affecting their peers the most.
“People aged 10 -16 years old are much more likely to be the victim of a crime than at any other time in their life.”
The research was carried out as part of ADT’s ‘Take No More’ campaign alongside Victim Support, to highlight the impact of burglaries.’