Children's experience and attitudes towards the police, personal safety and public spaces: findings from the 2009/10 British crime survey interviews with children aged 10 to 15: supplementary volume 3 to Crime in England and Wales 2009/10

Document type
Hoare, Jacqueline; Parfrement-Hopkins, Jenny; Britton, Andrew
Home Office
Date of publication
1 May 2011
Home Office statistical bulletin; 08/11
Criminal Justice Services, Children and Young People
Social welfare
Material type

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This bulletin, a supplementary volume accompanying the main annual Home Office statistical bulletin Crime in England and Wales 2009/10, presents findings from British crime survey (BCS) interviews with children and young people aged 10-15. The paper covers three primary areas: children and the police; personal safety and bullying experiences of children; and children's use of public space and access to leisure activities. Questions about police visibility in the 2009/10 BCS showed that 83 per cent of children had seen a police officer or community support officer in or around their school in the last 12 months and 69 per cent had seen an officer on foot patrol in the local area in the last 12 months. Just under half of children said they knew a local officer by name, sight or both. 83 per cent of children aged 10 to 12 agreed that the police are helpful and friendly towards young people compared with 68 per cent of children aged 13 to 15. According to the 2009/10 BCS, 22 per cent of children aged 10 to 15 reported being bullied in a way that frightened or upset them. Younger children aged 10 to 12 were more likely to have experienced bullying than older children aged 13 to 15. In almost all cases someone knew about the bullying, most often parents followed by teachers and friends. Around nine in ten children reported that they had personally told the people who had come to know about the bullying. Questions in the 2009/10 British crime survey about children’s use of public space showed the majority of 10 to 15 year olds said that they hung around in public spaces with friends; around half said they did this at least once a week. Thirty-seven per cent of children who lived in urban areas perceived teenagers hanging around to be a problem compared with 26 per cent of children who lived in rural areas. The majority of children aged 10 to 15 had used public transport in the last year and 73 per cent had used buses (including school and local buses). Of children who had used buses: younger girls aged 10 to 12 were twice as likely as their male counterparts to say they avoided using buses at certain times due to being worried about their personal safety or because other people were causing trouble (20% and 10% respectively); and older girls aged 13 to 15 (22%) were almost three times as likely as boys in the same age group (8%) to report having avoided travelling on buses at certain times.

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