"The figures show that over the past decade the number of persistent young offenders (PYOs) in England and Wales has jumped by two-thirds from 9,868 in 1997 to 16,512 in 2007.
A persistent young offender is defined as "a young person aged 10 to 17 years old who has been sentenced by any criminal court in the UK on three or more occasions".
The human cost of this rise in youth crime, reported by the Telegraph, must be hard to overestimate. This highlights how overall crime figures, distorted by a fall in the number of thefts from a vehicle, miss the true social and economic costs of crime. More young people getting trapped into a life of crime. More of those crimes, like violence against the person, which do the most to blight the lives of ordinary people.