The chief constable’s annual report on the Isle of Man has revealed a significant increase in young people committing offences. In the 2021-22 period, a total of 467 individuals under the age of 18 were involved in criminal activities, compared to 224 the previous year. Out of these, 321 were boys and 146 were girls, with a combined total of 1,073 offences committed, representing a 58% rise compared to 2020-21. The report cited the impact of the pandemic as one of the factors contributing to this increase.
Notably, there has been a 68.3% increase in violent offences carried out by young individuals over the course of the past year. The data also revealed that 171 of the young offenders committed more than one offence, and 15 of them committed more than 10, accounting for nearly 25% of all young offences. Shockingly, some of these offenders were as young as six years old, with a total of twelve being below the age of ten.
Chief constable Gary Roberts stated that the rise in youth offending can be partly attributed to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. It has been observed that the behavior of young people has significantly changed since the beginning of the pandemic, as they have lost structure, discipline, and the daily routine of attending school. These disruptions have had consequences on their actions and involvement in criminal activities.
Additionally, it has been identified that some of the young offenders are being exploited by organized criminal groups in Liverpool. This poses a challenge not only for the police but also for the entire community to address. Mr. Roberts emphasizes the importance of reforming the Youth Justice Team (YJT) in order to address the issue effectively. The reformation of this team will involve collaboration between the police, Manx Care, and educators to identify those most at risk and implement appropriate measures.