Self-harm by young people in custody

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • in the year ending March 2019, the rate of self-harm by White young people in custody was 2.75 times the rate of all other ethnic groups combined
  • for every 100 White young people in custody, there was an average of 19.8 incidents of self-harm per month
  • for every 100 young people from all other ethnic groups combined, there were 7.2 incidents of self-harm per month
  • in every year from April 2010 to March 2019, the rate of self-harm was higher for White young people compared with people from all other ethnic groups combined
Things you need to know

The data shows the number of times an act of self-harm was reported. It does not show the number of people who self-harmed or how often they harmed themselves.

Figures based on larger numbers of people are generally more reliable. There are more White young people in custody, so figures for this group are the most reliable.

What the data measures

This data measures the rate of self harm per 100 young people in custody per month in each year covered.

Self-harm is any act where a young person deliberately harms themselves, regardless of how they do it, what their intent is, or how badly they are hurt.

'Young people’ are 10 to 17 years old. The data may also include some 18 year olds who remain in youth custody for a short time.

The data includes young people held in:

  • young offender institutions
  • secure children’s homes
  • secure training centres
The ethnic categories used in this data

The number of young people involved in incidents of self-harm was too small to make reliable generalisations about specific ethnic categories. Because of this, we show data for 2 ethnic groups:

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

2. By ethnicity

Rate of self-harm incidents per 100 young people in custody, and average number of incidents per month, by ethnicity
Ethnicity Rate Average population per month Average number of self harm incidents per month
White 19.8 578.0 114.7
Other than White 7.2 533.3 38.5

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

Summary of Self-harm by young people in custody By ethnicity Summary

The data shows that, on average per month:

  • there were 19.8 incidents of self-harm per 100 White young people in custody in the year ending March 2019
  • there were 7.2 incidents of self-harm per 100 young people in custody from all other ethnic groups combined

3. By ethnicity over time

Rate of self-harm incidents per 100 young people in custody, and average number of incidents per month, by ethnicity over time
White Other than White
Time White Rate White Average Population per month White Average number of self harm incidents per month Other than White Rate Other than White Average Population per month Other than White Average number of self harm incidents per month
2010/11 5.5 1,911.4 105.3 1.3 971.2 12.9
2011/12 7.3 1,727.7 125.9 1.6 1,039.8 16.9
2012/13 7.8 1,381.3 107.5 1.3 860.8 11.4
2013/14 9.5 1,025.9 97.0 2.0 628.3 12.7
2014/15 10.5 866.1 91.0 3.2 549.8 17.8
2015/16 12.4 766.4 95.3 3.8 524.0 20.2
2016/17 12.8 653.7 83.6 4.4 509.0 22.5
2017/18 19.8 656.9 130.3 3.4 527.1 17.9
2018/19 19.8 578.0 114.7 7.2 533.3 38.5

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

Summary of Self-harm by young people in custody By ethnicity over time Summary

The data shows that, in the 9 years from April 2010 to March 2019:

  • the rate of self-harm has been higher for White young people in custody compared with those from all other ethnic groups combined every year
  • the rate for White people went up from 5.5 to 19.8 self-harm incidents per 100 young people in custody
  • the rate for people from all other ethnic groups combined went up from 1.3 to 7.2 self-harm incidents per 100 young people

In the most recent 2 years, from April 2017 to March 2019:

  • the rate of self harm for White young people stayed the same
  • the rate for young people from all other ethnic groups combined more than doubled, from 3.4 to 7.2 incidents per 100 people

4. Methodology

Young people in custody report their own ethnicity which staff then record.

The number of young people in custody is counted at the start of each month. Figures also include new admissions during the month, and then averaged across a 12-month period.

Rounding

Average number of incidents, average numbers of young people in custody and rates per 100 have been rounded to 1 decimal point. All calculations have been made using unrounded figures.

See the Youth justice statistics for 2018 to 2019 for unrounded figures and the percentages calculated from them.

Related publications

[Youth justice statistics] (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/youth-justice-statistics).

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

Figures published before the release of the 2018 to 2019 youth justice statistics may have been revised since their original publication.

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Ministry of Justice

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The data is used by the government to develop, monitor and evaluate criminal justice policy for young offenders in England and Wales.

6. Download the data

Self harm by young people in custody data - Spreadsheet (csv) 2 KB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, year, value, numerator, denominator