A 10-YEAR-OLD held in Wigan police cells overnight last year was one of almost 750 juveniles who spent time in a custody for offences including murder to rape.
The shocking figures obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal the shocking extent of crimes being committed by youngsters in the borough in 2011.
In total 742 minors (aged between 10-18) were held in cells, and a further 432 spent a night in police cells across the borough.
Offences included the rape of a girl under 13, manslaughter, supplying class A drugs, arson and possessing an offensive weapon.
The youngest person was the 10-year-old, who was held for burglary and criminal damage.
The age of criminal responsibility in the UK is 10 years old.
Most children and young people prosecuted for criminal offences are dealt with at a youth court.
A child is defined as under the age of 14, and anything up to 18 describes a young person.
Here are 10 of the offences listed in the information released by GMP:
Rape of a girl under 13 by a male
Prison mutiny – trying to overthrow lawful authority
Administering poison with the intent to endanger life
Going on to the playing area at a football match
Assault of a boy under 13 years of age by penetration
Conveying a prohibited article into, or out of a prison
Racially/religiously aggravated fear/ provocation of violence
Assault of a constable in the execution of his/her duty
Greater Manchester Police says it works very closely with local authorities and other agencies to identify and help stop children turning to crime. Chief Insp Stuart Wrudd, of Wigan Division, said: “We run a number of initiatives with partner agencies to steer young people away from crime and antisocial behaviour.
“One that has had particular success is the Nowt 2 Do scheme in Atherton.
“This is run by one of our school-based officers, and has introduced hundreds of young people to a wide range of activities to help keep them out of trouble.
“We also work very closely with Wigan Council to identify at the earliest opportunity when young people are in danger of getting involved in any form of criminality or antisocial behaviour.”
FULL STORY IN THE WIGAN EVENING POST (WEDNESDAY) ...