Assaults carried out by young people in custody

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • between 2010/11 and 2017/18, the rate of assaults per 100 young people in custody more than tripled for White young people
  • in the same period, the rate of assaults more than doubled for young people from all the other ethnic groups combined
  • in 2017/18, for every 100 White young people there was an average of 28.1 assaults per month, compared with 29.5 assaults in all other ethnic groups combined
Things you need to know

Every young person involved in carrying out an assault is recorded, so a single incident can be counted several times. Individuals are often involved in more than one assault, so they can be included in the data more than once.

This means that the rate per 100 young people in custody per month averaged across the year should be considered with some caution. The data does not show if an incident involved people from the same or different ethnic groups.

Estimates based on a larger number of people are generally more reliable. There are more White young people in custody, so estimates for this group are more reliable than estimates for all other ethnic groups.

What the data measures

This data measures rates of assaults carried out by young people in custody, broken down by ethnicity. Each assault carried out by a young person in custody is counted and their ethnicity recorded.

Rates are expressed per 100 young people in custody per month (on average across the financial year) from 2010/11 to 2017/18.

'Young people’ are 10 to 17 years old. The data may also include some 18 year olds.

The data includes young people held in:

  • young offenders’ institutions
  • secure children’s homes
  • secure training centres

The data does not include information about staff or visitors who may have been victims of assault, or otherwise involved.

The ethnic categories used in this data

The number of young people carrying out assaults was too small to make reliable generalisations about specific ethnic categories.

Therefore, the data is broken down into the following 2 broad categories:

  • White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
  • Other – all other ethnic minorities

2. By ethnicity

Assaults per 100 young people in custody by ethnicity over time
White Other than White
Time White Rate of incidents per 100 young people in custody per month White Average population in custody White Average number of assaults per month Other than White Rate of incidents per 100 young people in custody per month Other than White Average population in custody Other than White Average number of assaults per month
2010/11 9.0 1,911.4 172.8 12.0 971.2 116.7
2011/12 8.3 1,727.7 143.3 11.9 1,039.8 123.3
2012/13 9.5 1,381.3 131.7 11.2 860.8 96.0
2013/14 12.9 1,025.9 132.2 17.8 628.3 111.7
2014/15 14.3 866.1 124.2 20.4 549.8 111.9
2015/16 16.3 766.4 125.2 24.7 524.0 129.4
2016/17 18.4 653.7 120.3 24.4 509.0 124.0
2017/18 28.1 656.9 184.6 29.5 527.1 155.3

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2017/18, for every 100 White young people in custody there was an average of 28.1 assaults per month, compared with 29.5 assaults in all other ethnic groups combined
  • between 2010/11 and 2017/18, the average rate of assaults committed by White young people in custody more than tripled, from 9.0 to 28.1 per 100 young people
  • in the same period, the average rate of assaults by young people from all other ethnic groups combined more than doubled, from 12.0 to 29.5 per 100 young people

3. Methodology

The monthly population of young people held in secure facilities is calculated from 2 figures:

  • the number of young people in custody at the beginning of the month
  • any new admissions during the month.

This is then averaged over the year and used to calculate the rate of assaults.

Figures do not include data where ethnicity is unknown.

The data is checked, but as with all large administrative surveys errors and omissions can occur.

Rounding

Percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal point. Due to this, some figures may not add up to 100. Counts have been rounded to the nearest whole number. All calculations have been made using unrounded figures.

See the Youth justice statistics for 2017/18 for unrounded figures and the percentages calculated from them.

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

Figures published before the release of the 2017/18 youth justice statistics may have been revised since their original publication.

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Ministry of Justice

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

Youth justice data is used by the government to develop, monitor and evaluate criminal justice policy for young offenders. It reports on activity in the criminal justice system for England and Wales, giving information for the latest year and also longer-term trends.

5. Download the data