Around 3000 crimes committed by children under 10 in England and Wales

Almost 3,000 crimes were committed last year by suspects too young to be prosecuted. The offending by children aged under 10 in England and Wales included about 1,300 incidents of criminal damage and arson and more than 60 sex offences, according to figures obtained by the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act.

Children aged nine or under cannot be charged with an offence in England and Wales, although the crime will be recorded by police.

The figures were based on data from 32 of the 43 forces in England and Wales, the BBC said. Of the 2,840 crimes where the suspect was under 10, about half were cases of arson or criminal damage.

There were also 66 sexual offences, including a number of sexual assaults on children under 13.

Under-10s 'behind 3,000 crimes' (Guardian, 2 September 2007)