Children as young as five reported to Norfolk police for crimes including rape and arson | Crime

Figures from Norfolk Police reveal that children under the age of 10 - and as young as two - were suspects in more than 700 incidents since 2012. PICTURE POSED BY MODEL. David Jones/PA Wire

Figures from Norfolk Police reveal that youngsters beneath the age of 10 – and as young as two – had been suspects in additional than 700 incidents since 2012. PICTURE POSED BY MODEL. David Jones/PA Wire


Rape, housebreaking and racial aggravation are simply a number of the crimes a whole lot of young youngsters have been investigated for in Norfolk.

Figures from Norfolk Police reveal that youngsters beneath the age of 10 – and as young as two – had been suspects in additional than 700 incidents since 2012.

Offences embrace theft, severe sexual offences, theft and arson.

In 2016, a five-year-old was reported to police for rape, whereas final 12 months a seven-year-old was reported for housebreaking.

And in 2014, a two-year-old was reported to police for violence in opposition to one other individual – the youngest suspect up to now three years.

Picture: Ian Burt.Picture: Ian Burt.

Because no youngster beneath the age of 10 may be discovered responsible of an offence, Norfolk police stated no formal motion may be taken in opposition to them.

Instead, it stated officers look to establish the underlying reason for the crime to guarantee applicable safeguarding motion is taken.

Temporary detective superintendent Andy Coller stated: “When we’re notified of against the law involving a young individual, we examine why the crime is dedicated and not the kid themselves.

“It is paramount that we identify the underlying cause of these crimes so we can take appropriate safeguarding action alongside partner agencies.”

Giving examples, he stated a baby stealing meals may very well be an indication of neglect, whereas sexualised behaviour may very well be due to some type of sexual abuse.

Mr Coller added: “I need to stress the truth that we act in the perfect pursuits of the general public and most significantly the kid.

“It is our duty to protect all members of society and children can represent some of the most vulnerable and most in need.”

The variety of youngsters being reported for crime elevated by greater than 120laptop up to now five years.

Norfolk Police stated it investigated 73 incidents in 2012 – however the determine shot up to 163 as of October 2017.

Criminal harm is without doubt one of the mostly reported crimes involving youngsters, with 36 offences recorded in 2016.

Seventeen of the prison harm incidents that 12 months concerned suspects aged eight.

Meanwhile, there have been 9 reported rape offences since 2016 involving suspects aged between six and 9.

The figures additionally present that in 2017 there have been six studies of race or non secular aggravation the place the suspect was aged six to eight.

Mr Coller stated “recent developments” round nationwide crime recording requirements are “most likely” to account for the rise in numbers.

He added: “This doesn’t necessarily mean there is an increase in such crimes being committed.”

Violence in opposition to an individual was the commonest crime involving suspects aged up to 9, with 296 offences reported since 2014.

Child curfew order

While youngsters beneath 10 can’t be charged with committing a prison offence, they are often given a neighborhood youngster curfew or youngster security order.

A baby curfew permits police to ban youngsters from being in a public place between 9pm and 6am until accompanied by an grownup.

If they break the curfew, they will then be positioned beneath the supervision of a youth offending group, which is thought as a youth security order.

The order usually lasts for up to three months however in some circumstances it may final for up to 12 months.

If a baby doesn’t stick to the order, the court docket can think about if the kid ought to be taken into care.

The NSPCC stated dad and mom nervous about their youngster being concerned in prison exercise ought to contact the charity.

Colin Peak, NSPCC’s regional head of service for the East of England, stated: “Younger youngsters are unlikely to perceive the results of their actions or have the ability to successfully take part in prison proceedings.

“The criminal justice system must support children who have committed offences to change their behaviour while holding young people increasingly accountable for their actions as they mature.”

Norfolk County Council stated when against the law entails a baby, it’ll assess whether or not they’re prone to neglect or abuse and present the “appropriate” assist.

The council stated the assist may very well be from early assist or social work groups and the extent of assist supplied will rely of every youngster’s circumstances.

Call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children can contact Childline on zero800 1111.

Signs of prison exercise – what dad and mom ought to look out for

The NSPCC stated indicators youngster is concerned in prison exercise embrace:

• Children coming residence with costly gadgets. For instance, new trainers or new telephones.

• Coming residence late

• Going straight to their bed room with none communication

• Poor attendance at school

The NSPCC runs a ‘turn the page’ service in its Peterborough service centre, which helps youngsters and young individuals sort out dangerous sexual behaviour, in an effort to keep away from offending as adults. For extra data, go to

Colin Peak, from the NSPCC, stated; “If you’re nervous young individual is concerned with prison exercise or is in danger, the NSPCC can assist.

“Our specially trained helpline practitioners can offer guidance on how to talk to the young person about potential dangers, how you can support them and which organisation in your local area can help.”

Norfolk County Council not at all times notified

Norfolk County Council stated it was not at all times notified if a baby was being investigated for against the law by police.

It stated it’s up to the officer’s discretion as to whether or not the council ought to be instructed.

A council spokesman stated: “Factors that influence such decisions are considered, such as if the child or their family is known to the police, is this the first instance that the child has come to the attention of the Police and obviously taking into consideration the seriousness of the crime.”

Once the county council has been notified, the spokesman stated incidents are screened by police and youngsters’s companies, and a call is made on how to handle any considerations.

“Our paramount consideration is to ensure that children and young people are safeguarded and that where necessary and proportionate that the child and family have access to appropriate universal, targeted or specialist support as required,” the spokesman added.

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