Details of young offender deaths revealed

Neil Puffett
Thursday, October 6, 2011

Details of how 23 children under the supervision of youth offending teams died in the community last year have emerged after the Youth Justice Board released fresh information on the incidents.

Figures provided to CYP Now reveal that seven children died as a result of suicide, seven as a result of road traffic accidents and four were murdered.

A further two died from "potential suicide", while one death was classed as "suspicious". There was also one accidental fall and one accidental drowning.

Of the deaths, six occurred in the West Midlands, five in London, five in the North West, three in Yorkshire and the Humber, two in the East Midlands, one in Wales and one in the East of England.

Di Hart, principal officer of youth justice and welfare at the National Children's Bureau (NCB), said the statistics highlight the need for more analysis of the risk factors surrounding young offenders.

"They are all violent deaths of one kind or another, which would suggest something about the needs of young people," she said.

"There are risk factors in these children’s lives and there are parallels with the child protection system, but [in the youth justice system] we don’t approach these deaths in respect of risk factors that were missed." 

Earlier this year it emerged that a total 132 young offenders died while under supervision in the community since 2006.

A consultation launched by the board on how information can be better reported on serious incidents has now closed, but no detail of the future structure of the system has emerged.

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