Number of juvenile offenders increase 55 percent

The number of juvenile offenders arrested in the first six months of 2014 increased 55 percent compared to the same period last year, a statistical report made public by the Home Ministry’s Juvenile Justice Unit (JJU) today has revealed.

Some 98 minors were arrested this year while the figure was 54 last year.

The majority of offenders were males between the ages of 16 and 18, the report noted, with only 10 cases involving underaged girls.

The most common offence was possession of drugs, followed by 18 cases of assault, 10 cases of disobedience to order, and 10 cases of theft.

Moreover, 36 percent of the offenders were school children while 56 percent were of indeterminate background.

The JJU suggested that broken families, physical abuse, and poor parenting were some of the causes behind the increase in arrests.

The report also noted flaws in the correctional procedures for juveniles and the lack of a separate system for juvenile offenders as challenges to rehabilitation.

Moreover, there was an absence of avenues for taking action against irresponsible and abusive parents, the report noted.