HC Deb 11 June 1959 vol 606 cc1166-7
36. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the amount of juvenile delinquency during each of the last ten years, indicating the causes and his plans for dealing with it.

Mr. Renton

I will, with permission circulate statistics of juvenile delinquency in the OFFICIAL REPORT. AS for the causes of delinquency and measures for dealing with it, I would refer the hon. and learned Member to the White Paper on "Penal Practice in a Changing Society" (Cmd. 645).

Mr. Hughes

In answer to the first part of the Question, does the hon. and learned Gentleman agree that punishment after the crime is only part of the problem and a great part of the problem is the ascertaining of predisposing causes, such as broken homes, greed, lust and things of that sort? What steps are the Government taking to ascertain those predisposing causes?

Mr. Renton

The causes of crime are greatly variable and some are imponderable. Some of them also are beyond the scope of Government action, but, if the hon. and learned Member studies the White Paper, he will find a section of it devoted to research, of which a great deal is going on. It is all set out in one of the appendices.

Following is the information:

The following table gives index figures, based on 1938 = 100, for the numbers in different age groups, both sexes combined, found guilty of indictable offences per unit of population in the age group since 1949:—

Year Age Group
Under 14 14 and under 17 17 and under 21
1938 100 100 100
1949 173 155 122
1950 182 160 129
1951 194 183 148
1952 174 179 151
1953 146 152 133
1954 125 143 127
1955 119 146 136
1956 123 161 159
1957 137 186 195
1958 152 207 248