Justine Greening MP to work with local Police

to improve youth crime reporting


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Putney, Roehampton and Southfields MP Justine Greening will work with Wandsworth Borough Commander, Joe Royle and local schools to find ways of improving the level of reporting of youth crime, after figures showing that last year 38% of all muggings across Wandsworth were on 11-16yr olds. A further 40% of Wandsworth muggings were on 17-29 yr olds. Of suspected offenders, a massive 40% were 11-16 yrs old. A freedom of information request then made by Ms Greening showed that across London, 33% of muggings were on 11-16 yr old, with 49% of suspected offenders aged 11-16 yrs old. It also showed that Wandsworth 11-16yr olds were more likely to report as being mugged than any other London borough.

Justine Greening said:

"Based on my MP postbag, I know that the amount of mugging on teenagers locally is high - a lot of concerned parents contact me, but I was shocked to see just how much crime was targeted on young people at secondary school - the figures work out at 1 in 20 secondary school students across Wandsworth being recorded as mugged last year - worse than any other borough. However, the police detection rate for personal robbery - crimes having an offender identified against them - was just 10%.

I know that a lot of teenagers won't report being mugged because they're scared of reprisals and they don't think anything will be done. The British Crime Survey estimates just 21% of personal robbery ever make into police figures. If we can somehow improve the level of reporting possibly by making emailing of crimes easier, that could make a big difference to the police getting enough information to take serious action. Many offenders are prolific and I would like to see better, easier reporting so that the police can use offenders' prolific behaviour against them for a chance."

Ms Greening said that because younger victims are less likely to report crime, her figures proved that Wandsworth suffered more than other London boroughs with under reporting of crime and resultant under-resourcing of police officer numbers giving the police an uphill struggle in tackling muggings.

Ms Greening is hoping to visit local secondary schools to talk with pupils about youth crime and is encouraging people who have been mugged - or parents of teenagers mugged to get in touch with her with their experiences on greeningj@parliament.uk.

"I want to find out what other residents have experienced. It will help me work with local police and schools to get crime reported and to make the case for more police numbers."

January 11, 2007