Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

3,000 London Under-13s Arrested for Crimes from Shoplifting to Murder

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

3,000 London Under-13s Arrested for Crimes from Shoplifting to Murder

Article excerpt

Byline: KATHARINE BARNEY

NEARLY 3,000 children under 13 were arrested for crimes including murder, rape and drug dealing in London last year Shocking figures obtained by the Evening Standard under the Freedom of Information Act show that violent and sexual offences have risen.

While the most common crime is shoplifting, there were also 592 arrests for violent offences, 338 for robbery, 184 for burglary and 65 for sexual offences - 18 of which were for rape.

A further 73 children were convicted of possession of drugs and four of drug trafficking.

A 13-year-old from north London who stabbed to death a takeaway worker last year became one of the youngest killers to be convicted in Britain.

Police are also worried about gun crime among young children, who are increasingly being "groomed" by gangs as gun runners so that adult members are not caught themselves.

Separate figures today reveal a "wasted" generation. They show the number of young people doing nothing with their lives has increased by 15 per cent in the past decade. There are now 1.24million people aged between 15 and 24 who are in neither education, work or a training scheme.

The statistic is a major embarrassment for Labour, which has spent billions helping disadvantaged young people to stay on at school, train and find jobs.

The figures show that in total the number of crimes thought to be committed by under-13s was down by seven per cent, but violent and sexual offences both rose. A further 134 had stolen vehicles.

The boroughs with the largest number of child crimes were Bromley and Hillingdon, while Kensington and Chelsea and Harrow fared best.

One of the youngest killers was 13-year-old Hakeem Johnson, from north London. He was

found guilty last year of murdering 32-year-old Noor Kasimi in a fast-food shop in Islington.

He stabbed him after being refused a special-offer pizza.

The [pounds sterling]1 promotion expired at 6pm but the boy and his friends did not arrive until more than an hour later. …

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