The number of recorded offences committed by girls in Britain has risen by 25 percent in the last three years, according to a new report.
The report by Youth Justice Board's Annual Workload Data has revealed that girls committed 59,236 crimes in 2006-07, which is a 25 per cent increase from 47,358 in 2003-04.
AdvertisementHowever, the number of crimes committed by boys showed a two per cent drop over the same period.
In an interview to Radio 4's Today, Academic Elaine Arnull of London's South Bank University, who prepared a report, revealed that most of the offences recorded were minor fights between girls, sometimes in school playgrounds.
"It is fights between girls, principally - things like fights at school that the police weren't called to in the past. Most offending by girls, especially violent offending, is of a very low level. It doesn't mean it's insignificant, but it is hair-pulling fights between girls," The Sun quoted her as saying.
She also believes that the increase in number of crimes by girls may be due to changes in the way society deals with violence.
"We think that the response to girls by agencies - schools, police, other people - has changed, so girls are possibly being prosecuted for offences they weren't being prosecuted for before," she said.
"The bigger picture is that behaviour is changing and there is a link between girls using alcohol and violence," she added.
The most common crimes committed by girls were theft, violent attacks, criminal damage and public order crimes.
Around 16,000 girls were found guilty of violent attacks and nearly 20,000 of theft and handling stolen goods. One hundred and eighty were convicted of arson.
The authors also found that girls made up less than ten per cent of those locked up for youth crimes despite being responsible for around 20 per cent of the crimes committed.
The data also showed an 85 per cent increase in the use of electronic tagging to monitor young criminals. The number of young women wearing tags more than doubled.
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