Pupils excluded from schools are more likely
to commit crime and commit more serious offences than school
pupils, according to a survey commissioned by the Youth Justice
The most common offence committed by excluded
offenders is handling stolen goods (60 per cent), while the most
common offence committed by offenders in school is fare dodging (46
per cent), according to the Mori 2002 Youth Survey.
The highest levels of offending are in London,
the South East and the North East. But the 2001 survey found that
young offenders are more likely to be caught in the North East and
Reported levels of offending among mainstream
and excluded pupils have not changed significantly since 1999. The
latest survey showed the figures to be 26 per cent for those at
school and 64 per cent for those excluded.
Levels of mobile phone theft have remained
constant since 2001. Five per cent of mainstream offenders and 25
per cent of excluded offenders commit this offence.
The survey, which looks at the trends in
offending, shows two-thirds of excluded pupils and over half of
school pupils have been victims of crime in the past year. Most
offences against young people are committed by other young
Young offenders caught committing crime are
increasingly being punished for their crimes, the report says.
Youth offending teams, courts and police are increasingly applying
punitive measures such as forcing the perpetrator to apologise to
the victim and pay compensation.
Chairperson of the Youth Justice Board Lord
Warner said: “Young people being caught and punished appropriately
is an essential part of maintaining the credibility of the youth
“This survey shows that being caught for an
offence is increasingly likely to instil a proper sense of right
and wrong into these young people. The fear of being caught is also
cited as one of the greatest deterrents to committing offences in
the first place so the role of the police is critical,” he