Young People And Official Crime Statistics

564 words - 3 pages

Essay on young people and statistics…
The peak age for offending is between 15 and 20, with the proportion of this age group found guilty of or cautioned for indictable offences (more serious offences tried by a judge in a crown court, or a juvenile court) around 5 times as high as the average for all ages. Around a fifth of all those cautioned or convicted in any year for indictable offences are aged 10-17, and one third are under 21. Cooper and Roe (2012) estimate 10-17 year olds account for all recorded crime, with nearly 85% of this committed by males. A 2002 self-report survey found that almost half of Britain’s secondary school students admitted to breaking the law. Roe and Ashe (2008), based on findings from the 2006 offending, crime and justice survey, found 22% of 10 to 25 year olds admitted to ...view middle of the document...

While many young people will break the law at some stage, the kinds of offences they commit are usually fairly trivial, opportunistic, short lived and isolated incident and related to peer group activities, such as under-age drinking, vandalism and shoplifting.
There are several inter-related factors which combine to explain the link between age and offending. Some of which consist of weakened social bonds, which would otherwise discourage crime and deviance due to status frustration. Weakened sense of identity arising from status frustration leading to a state of drift involving occasional acts of delinquency. Also with status deprivation and frustration arising from blocked opportunities to achieve social goals by approved means lead to development of delinquent values. As we can tell the most prevalent themes are those relating to status frustration and the influence of the peer group.
Young people are often deprived of an independent status in society, as they caught in the transition between dependent child and independent adult status, and that is in simple terms the experience of status frustration, at this specific situation. The peer group provide some support for an identity and status independent of school or family, and therefore takes on greater importance among young people than at any other age. The lack of responsibilities and independent status, and the search for excitement and for status in the peer group, means many young people drift into minor acts of delinquency and clashes with the law. Peer group pressure may also give young people the confidence and encouragement to involve themselves in minor acts of delinquency which they would not engage in on their own. This aspect of status frustration affects all young people and explains why many of them from all social classes occasionally get involved in delinquent and deviant acts.

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