Crime in England: Thefts experienced by children aged 10-15


Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as per the report ‘Crime in England & Wales, year ending March 2017’, show that there have been over 3,000 theft offences against adults aged 16 and over, in the year ending March 2017. While a slight decrease has been noticed compared to the previous year, theft remains one of the most common offences in the UK.

As a result, security experts,, sought to find out how the youth is affected by this type of crime. To do so, have exposed data from the ONS report, Nature of Crime: Children aged 10 to 15 thefts, which contains information on trends in theft offences experienced by pupils aged 10 to 15 in England and Wales.

The data outlines the most common places where theft offences took place. The data shows that a whopping 62% of incidents take place in or around the school area, from which 52% of thefts took place inside the school and 10% around the building. The second most common place where young pupils experience theft is in or around home/housing estate (17%). The park is also considered a dangerous place, with 7% of youngsters becoming victims of crime in public green spaces. 12% of those who took the survey for ONS said they’ve been victims of theft, and the incidents happened ‘elsewhere’; with details omitted from the report.

To have a better understanding of the situation and circumstances the thefts took place in, Locksmithservice had a look at the characteristics of the offenders and the results are somewhat shocking. When it comes to the sex of the offenders, a whopping 37% were revealed to be female, 59% were male and 4% were disclosed as both.
Interestingly, it has been revealed that most offenders were the same age as the victims, with 77% offenders aged 10 to 15. It came as a surprise that 15% of the offenders were under the age of 10. 9% were aged 16 to 19 and only 4% were aged 20 or older. Moreover, and more shockingly the data reveals that in the majority of cases (62%), the offender was someone the victim knew well. In 20% of the cases, the offender was someone the victim knew by sight, while 12% of the victims said the offender was someone they had spoken to on occasion. In only 10% of cases, the offender was a total stranger.

Knowing that most cases of thefts from children aged 10 to 15 takes place in or around the school they attend, it comes as no surprise that in 61% of cases the offender is a pupil from their school. However, the fact that in 14% of cases the offender was a friend (including boyfriend/girlfriend) was rather shocking.

What gets stolen most?

Furthermore, Locksmithservice considered what are the most commonly stolen items. Stationary/books and cash/foreign currency were the most common items stolen, with 16% of pupils reporting theft. While having money stolen comes as no surprise, the fact that stationary/books comes out on top is shocking and could suggest that these thefts are the result of the financial struggles of other pupils. Clothing, mobile phones and bicycle or bicycle parts are the next most common items stolen at 12%. Next on the list with 10% were bags/handbags/shopping bags, followed by electrical items at 6%. Jewellery/watches and food/toiletries/cigarettes were stolen by 5% of pupils, followed by toys at 3%. Sports equipment was stolen at a rate of 2%, and lastly 1% of victims had their cards/purse stolen.

What changed in three years?

Image Credit: giggsy25/Shutterstock

Furthermore, specialists at Locksmithservice sought to find out whether there was any change in the figures from the year ending March 2015 to the year ending March 2017. When it comes to the place where the incidents took place, there was a decrease in the number of cases in or around schools in 2017 compared to 2016 with around 70 cases of theft. The figures from March 2015 depict an identical number of cases of theft from in or around school as for 2017, the only deference being that there were 54 cases of offences in school in 2015 compared to 52 cases of offences in school in 2017.

When you consider the sex of the offenders, the figures from 2017 are rather similar to the ones from 2016 where 60% of the offenders were male(s) and 36% were female(s). However, the figures from 2015 show that the number of female offenders have risen in 2016 and 2017, as the data reveals in 2015 there were 74% male(s) and 23% female(s), stealing from children aged 10 to 15.

When it comes to how well the victim knew their attacker, the figures for 2015 and 2016 are alike with 56% of the victims in 2015 saying they knew the thief well, and 55% stating the same in 2016. However, figures from 2017 show that more victims knew their attackers well (62%).
There was a change in the most common items stolen in the three years mentioned. While stationery/books and cash/foreign was ranked as the most common items stolen in 2017the figures from 2016 depicts clothing as the most ‘desired’ item with 21% of pupils having their clothing items stolen, while in 2015 the item most stolen being t

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