A two-year-old who was accused of sex offences is part of a rapid surge of under-10s reported for committing ‘crimes’ in Cambridgeshire.
And the number of under-10s reported to police has rockets by 260 per cent, shock data has revealed. Data released using freedom of information laws shows the sharp increase in the age group being reported to police – despite the fact an offender must be over 10 to be responsible for a crime.
In 2013 just 53 of the youngsters were reported to the force rising to 77 the following year, then leaping to 141 in 2015.
But in 2016 the number increased to 190 and hit an all time high last year (2017) when it reached 205.
One two-year-old was reported to police for ‘familial sexual offences’. A 10-year-old and an eight-year-old were accused of assaulting a police officer.
And a total of 14 children were reported for carrying a knife and a six-year-old was accused of rape.
A 10-year-old was accused of sexual grooming and a 6-year-old was reported over making death threats.
A Cambridgeshire police spokeswoman said: “There can be a number of factors behind variations in crime statistics over a period of years.
“Some of these figures reflect our drive to improve consistency in crime recording so the public can have confidence in the figures and in reporting crimes to us in the first place.
“We now record incidents as crimes when previously, for example they might have been recorded as anti-social behaviour or simply a suspicious incident.
“Since 2010 Cambridgeshire has seen a 70 per cent reduction in the number of children arrested.
“The force has carried out significant work to ensure that children are not wrongly criminalised and that a common sense approach is taken when considering the most appropriate response to crimes or incidents involving children.”
The Home Office states the age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10 years old.
This means that children under 10 can’t be arrested or charged with a crime. There are other punishments that can be given to children under 10 who break the law.