“Minors are becoming more and more violent.”  True or false ?

“Minors are becoming more and more violent.” True or false ?

“Minors are becoming more and more violent.” What about it? The Pilgrim deciphers the subject for you.

  • The context. Recent weeks have been marked by the death of several minors, beaten or stabbed by other adolescents. According to various political leaders from all sides, young people, minors in particular, are showing themselves to be more violent than before. The communist Fabien Roussel denounced “stronger, harsher violence, provoked by younger and younger young people”. The president of LR, Éric Ciotti, advocated lowering the criminal majority to 16 years and removing the minority excuse.
  • A reality that is difficult to grasp. Reliable statistics on minors implicated – in other words interviewed by the security forces as part of an investigation – have only existed since 2016. Furthermore, a senatorial report from September 2022 recalls that “the evolution of the delinquency depends (…) on the activity of the security services or even on the propensity of victims to file a complaint, which can explain a certain gap between reality and the feelings of the population.”
  • A drop in attacks on property, an increase in violence against people: these two trends are confirmed by official statistics. The number of vehicle thefts involving minors between 2016 and 2021 decreased by 30.4%, the number of other thefts and receiving stolen goods by 34.2%. On the other hand, sexual violence against adults increased by 58.3%, sexual violence against minors by 59.7% and intentional assault and battery on anyone under the age of 15 by 6.7%. (Source: Ministerial Statistical Service for Internal Security.)
  • The share of minors implicated in homicides remains stable: it still represents between 7% and 9% of all those affected. This proportion does not vary in the case of convictions for homicide either, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice (around 6% between 2012 and 2022).
  • A concern that is not new. We cannot therefore conclude, in the current state of statistics, that minors are increasingly violent. On the other hand, their aggressiveness is expressed differently – fewer thefts, more attacks on people. In 1907, the daily The small newspaper was already worried about “the scourge of juvenile delinquency, always more violent, more numerous, more precocious”.

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