The Sun: Drunken girls on rampage; teen assault raps treble

Friday, 6 March, 2009

VIOLENT attacks by boozed-up teenage girls are soaring - with 63 offences committed every day, official figures revealed last night.

The number of crimes by females under 18 has more than TRIPLED in the past seven years.

For the first time, assault is now the most common reason for girls being arrested. And yobbish behaviour by teenage boys is FALLING.

The astonishing change in teenage louts is revealed in figures obtained by the Youth Justice Board.

They show violent offences by girls aged ten to 17, including stabbings and even murder, rose from just 6,000 in 2001 to almost 23,000 last year.

Booze is the main cause, with a third of 15 and 16-year-old girls admitting to binge-drinking.

Last year, more than 58,500 girls under 18 were taken to court, up ten per cent over two years. Nearly two in five crimes committed by girls involved violent assault and a third was for handling stolen goods. The group with the worst record are those aged 15 to 16. While the number of offences by teenage boys is much higher - 120,000 - it is six per cent down over the same period. If the trends continued, girls would catch up with boys within four to five years.

Tories last night blamed ministers' failure to crack down on the sale of cheap booze.

Shadow police minister David Ruffley said: "The cause of too many young girls getting off their faces is the availability of cheap alcohol.

"That's why we need tough action to tackle the growing booze culture which is infecting young men and women alike."