Six boys blamed for crime wave

Six boys, aged 13 to 15, are responsible for a huge proportion of crime in their community, police disclosed yesterday.

John Stevens, Chief Constable of Northumbria, said the boys had been arrested 265 times for 550 offences, including burglary, car theft, violent disorder and criminal damage. He said they were the scourge of their neighbourhoods and should be locked up.

Assistant Chief Constable David Mellish told Northumbria Police Authority that one of the six, from Newcastle upon Tyne, was behind 183 crimes and still offending. 'They are putting two fingers up to the criminal justice system,' he said. A delegation of councillors will petition the Home Secretary for money to build secure accommodation.