Women's Violent Crimes Increasing
Jason Bennetto Crime Correspondent, The Independent (London, England)
More women are committing violent crimes, particularly street robbery, burglary and fighting, prison staff have reported.
There is increasing concern among prison and probation workers at the rising trend, particularly among women aged 21 and under who they fear are being "corrupted" by more hardened criminals. They believe part of the problem is the result of neglect, abuse and drug or alcohol addiction.
In the past decade the number of women found guilty or cautioned for an offence involving violence against the person has nearly doubled to 9,400. The sharp rise has also been accompanied by a shift towards greater use of cautioning from about a quarter of offences to nearly three-quarters.
The average daily prison population of women jailed for violent crimes has jumped in the past two years from 240 during June 1992 to 360 in the same period last year.
The Prison Service is considering setting up specialist units within jails to deal with young women involved in violence following warnings from officers and probation workers, who have also noted an increasing trend in which young women have attacked boyfriends and friends.
In the majority of the violence cases there is a history of sexual abuse, often followed by a period of prostitution and involvement in drugs. …