A quarter of rioters brought before courts were children, figures reveal


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The Independent Online

Nearly 1,000 people have been jailed for an average of more than 14 months for their part in last summer's riots, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice.

Click HERE to view 'Broken down: The story of the riots' graphic

The figures highlighted the role of children in the disturbances, with more than a quarter of the 2,710 brought before courts aged between 10 and 17. The vast majority of those prosecuted up until 1 February (89 per cent) were male.

A total of 945 of the 1,483 people found guilty and sentenced for their role in the riots were jailed, the figures showed. The average 14.2-month jail term compares with the average sentence of 3.7 months for those convicted by magistrates for similar offences in England and Wales in 2010.

The figures also showed that, of those whose ethnicity was known, 41 per cent were white and 39 per cent were black. Another 12 per cent were mixed race and six per cent were Asian.

Nearly half of those brought before the court were charged with burglary and another 21 per cent with violent disorder.

The arrests were made during the violence that spread across English cities following the shooting by police of Mark Duggan on 4 August.