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City teens turn backs on crime.

Byline: Sam Dimmer Crime reporter sam.dimmer@coventrytelegraph.net

A RECORD low number of Coventry teenagers are breaking the law for the first time, according to government statistics.

Less than fifty 16 and 17-year-olds got their first caution or conviction in 2013, down from 260 in 2006.

The number of adult first time offenders in Coventry is also at around the lowest level for more than a decade - although there was an increase of 11 per cent between 2012 and 2013.

Across the entire West Midlands fewer people are entering the criminal justice system for the first time.

Just 12,172 people broke the law for the first time in 2013, down from 23,632 in 2007.

Coventry's youth parliament member Daniel McKenzie, aged 17, said young people were becoming more mature and more aware of all the opportunities available for them. "The police and youth service are facing big cuts and it seems to me they are just working harder," he said.

"There's one PCSO in Coventry and I take my hat off to her. She must work 24 hours a day to help young people.

"The police are taking a different role nowadays. Now they work with young people whereas in the past that might not always have been true."

Mr McKenzie added: "I remember in 2008 at my school there was an office full of careers advisors and people like that.

"Now young people are realising that they have to work hard and help themselves."

The figures were released by the Ministry of Justice following a freedom of information act request.

Across England and Wales the number of 16 and 17-year-olds given their first caution or conviction in 2013, was at its lowest level since 2000, with 11,189 getting in trouble. This is down from a peak of 36,741 in 2006.

In 2013, 143,428 adults in England and Wales got their first caution or conviction, down 6.7 per cent from 153,701 in 2012.

Tell us your views at: letters@coventrytelegraph.net Daniel | McKenzie, youth parliament member for Coventry

'"Now young people are realising they have to work and help themselves... youth parliament member Daniel McKenzie

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 24, 2014
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