Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal the level of theft offences experienced by pupils aged 10-15 in England and Wales. Most worryingly, these numbers showed that 62% of incidents happen in or around the school – 52% inside, and 10% around the building.
The vast majority of offences, 77%, were committed by children aged 10-15, but 15% of offenders were under 10. Victims were typically the same age as the perpetrator, and in 62% of cases it was someone the offender knew well.
In 20% it was someone they knew by sight, and in 12% of incidents it was someone they had spoken to on occasions. In only 10% of cases was the offender a total stranger.
Perhaps one of the more surprising statistics was that in 14% of cases the offender was a friend (including boyfriend/girlfriend).
But what gets stolen the most? Unsurprisingly, cash came top of the list with 16%, joint highest with stationary and books. Clothes, mobile phones and bicycles, or bicycle parts, are the next most common items stolen, at 12%.
Bags (school bags, handbags and shopping bags) accounted for 10 % overall, followed by electrical items (6%), jewellery and watches (5%) and food and toiletries (5%).
Comparing this year’s stats to previous figures, there has been an increase in girls committing theft over the last two years. 2016’s figures were similar to this year’s, with 60% of the offenders being male and 36% female. However, the figures from 2015 revealed that 74% of thefts against children aged 10-15 were committed by males, and only 23% by females.
When it comes to how well the victim knew their attacker, the figures for 2015 and 2016 were very similar, with 56% of the victims in 2015 saying they knew the thief well, and 55% stating the same in 2016. This year’s numbers show a slight increase, with victims reporting the thief being familiar to them up to 62%.
For more information, you can view the blog post with additional research.