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Rape and murder by children as young as 13, 12-year-old girls committing robbery and 10-year-old boys causing affray are among the “heart-stopping” crimes of Islington youth.

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In 2011, more than 800 offences were committed by males under 17, and 126 by girls of the same age, resulting in arrests for a variety of crimes including assault, burglary, grievous bodily harm and carrying knives and guns.

The figures come as the result of a Freedom of Information request by the Gazette. They also show:

– Girls aged 13 arrested for assault, affray and actual bodily harm

– Girls of 14 in trouble for burglary and assault

– A boy of ten arrested for criminal damage

– Boys aged 12 reprimanded for handling stolen goods, carrying knives and stealing cars

– 13-year-olds arrested for car-jacking, carrying guns, rape, murder and sex offences

Though the number of arrests is down from 1,068 in 2010, and 1,114 the year before, the statistics display a startling array of criminal activity.

Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “It’s heart-stopping to think our kids are carrying out crimes of this nature.

“I am not complacent about it, but this is a very small percentage of young people, and that tallies with our knowledge about the number of problem families in the borough.

“Many of these youngsters will have some connection to gang-related activity. We don’t want to let this get out of control.

“We warn parents who are either unaware or not taking responsibility for their kids’ actions that we will repossess their home – that normally does the trick.”

Det Supt Steve Wallace of Islington Police said: “Serious youth violence is down by 36 per cent when compared with the same period last year.

“We are experiencing significantly fewer offences of robbery and serious violence involving youths under 18.

“The examples provided of kids being involved in serious offending imply that offences of this nature are commonplace. They are not and represent a very small number of crimes.”

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