Over recent years the Victorian community has expressed concern about young offenders, especially those who commit violent or serious crimes such as assault, motor vehicle theft, robbery or burglary. This issue has also been the subject of media coverage, which has suggested police are recording more first-time young offenders for serious crimes than in the past. This paper examined the offences police recorded for 10 to 17 year old alleged offenders on the first day they were ever recorded for any offences, where that day was between 2012 and 2016.
Key findings include:
The number of first-time young offenders recorded for any type of offence has fallen over the past five years
The number of first-time young offenders recorded for crimes against the person has remained stable over time, while there has been a sharp drop in the number recorded for property crimes
The number of first-time young offenders recorded for very serious offences has remained stable over the past five years
There is no evidence of recent increases in the number of assaults, sexual assaults, burglaries, aggravated robberies or motor vehicle thefts recorded for first-time young offenders in Victoria