Scores of Thanet children arrested for assault and weapon offences

Under-18 arrests in Thanet (stock photo)


Thanet children as young as 12 have been arrested over the last two years for crimes of assault and youngsters under 18 have also been arrested for possession of a weapon.

Information supplied by Kent Police following a Freedom of Information request reveals some 216 arrests of isle under 18s have been made in the financial years of 2017/18 and 2018/19 for crimes such as assault -including abh and gbh – and possession of a weapon.

In June last year a Margate 14-year-old was arrested for possession of an imitation firearm although they were released without charge after a decision that prosecution would serve no useful process. A 16-year-old in Birchington was also arrested for possessing an imitation firearm last October. The teen was bailed with conditions attached. In 2018/9 there were four other arrests for possession of a weapon with the youngest suspect being 14. The previous year 11 youngsters under 18 were arrested on offensive weapon charges.

In 2018/19 103 arrests were made of Thanet 12 to 17-year-olds for assault, including racially aggravated and assault on police.

The previous year 96 arrests of Thanet youngsters in the same age group were made for assault offences.

Of the 107 arrests for assault or weapon offences in 2017/18, 50 are recorded as the suspect being released without charge. In 2018/19 there were 109 arrests for assault and offensive weapon offences with 51 released without charge or refused charge.

In a number of cases restorative justice – where the offender meets with the victim – was used.

The remaining arrests resulted in charge, caution, postal requisition or transfer of the suspect to another force.


Chief Inspector Lara Connor for Thanet said assault offences included incidents of verbal threats where no injuries were incurred.

She added: “There are other cases where threats are made with the use of a weapon or someone has been injured and officers take a proactive approach in targeting people of all ages across the county who carry weapons.

“We regularly carry out operations to reduce knives and other weapons on the streets and work in conjunction with partner agencies on education and intervention to encourage young people to make better life choices.

“Not all reported assaults involving young people from Thanet are a direct result of being involved in county line drug dealing. However we recognise there is a minority of young people at risk of exploitation and safeguarding children remains a priority for us.

“In some circumstances the best course of action following an arrest is restorative justice, particularly amongst young people. This action always takes into account the victim’s wishes and helps ensure offenders understand the consequences of their actions without going through the courts.”


  1. Ineresting reading and well done Isle of Thanet News for bringing this to light. I wonder how these figures compare to say 10 or 20 years ago or 40 yeas ago for that matter ?

  2. Perhaps the The parents should be the ones charged for the children’s crimes, it might make them actually take responsibility for their kids rather than letting them roam around like feral animals.

  3. Parents / guardians and children’s homes should all be held accountable by law for under 18s behaviour. It’s all too convenient to allow children to go out on to the streets and get up to all sorts of bad things, whilst the adults could not care less as long as the kids are not under the adult feet. I know of children who are in a children’s home being allowed to be out all night. Until the police got involved the kids were stealing from cars.
    There used to be good citizenship lessons in schools until the government stopped them in funding cuts.
    One often hears parents say their kids ‘got into the wrong crowd’, overlooking the fact that it’s more than likely it is THEIR child who is the wrong crowd.

  4. Although the report is thought provoking and of great concern to the residents of Thanet I think the stock photo used to highlight the article is a OTT. Why ? Not 100% sure just that it makes me feel uncomfortable as it seems to simply demonise children and the use of a photo focuses on the child rather than perhaps the reasons – cries of “do gooder” to follow no doubt !

    • Hi, the use of a stock photo was to illustrate the content of the story. It is not about demonising children, these are a minority of kids, but the figures are worrying and the subject matter is children involved in assault and weapon offences so the focus is kids, or at least kids that have gone off track. It is part of a wider research piece that looks at County Lines and there will be more of that published later in the month. Sorry you were stuck in moderation, as a first-time poster it means you have to be approved manually.

      • Many thanks for coming back to me – much appreciated and just to say that I value your journalism and reporting of the local area – a balanced mix of good news, local and community news , plus topics that are thought provoking and need to be communicated however uncomfortable they may seem.

  5. Let’s buy imitation toys in pound land guns and knives its not illegal for boys to fight.
    Those crimes are not the parents fault nor school really you blaming an autistic child non verbal shame on you

  6. What are you on about Rebecca.??? Yobs are yobs they can’t all hide behind labels like autistic. School and parents should teach kids what is right and what is wrong. Not let kids do as they please and be out of control then when they get into trouble try and hide it by saying ‘Oh sorry it’s not he or she who done it it’s autism that done it.

  7. In response to Ann’s comment, children’s homes actually always have strict curfews in place as do foster homes. When a child residing in them doesn’t stick to it there is not much the staff or foster parents can do in terms of keeping them at home. The majority of children in the care system are angry, abusive and make punishment of their behaviour difficult to manage due to the poor start to life they have encountered and having no respect for themselves let alone anyone else. I agree with the lack of education in schools also being partly to blame along with lack of youth clubs/facilities available in the area after school hours.

  8. As an ex-guardian from the foster-parent side of things I find it difficult to understand Ann’s broad comment stating we, along with Care homes are at fault. As a caring parent I took in an autistic lad of 15 who had not even been diagnosed yet with a disorder. An angry young man with traits so difficult to cope with he couldn’t understand his own behaviours. He was wild and took every opportunity to disobey my guidance and stay out on the street where he felt more comfortable getting involved with others similar to himself.
    The previous commenter Thanet Resident says everything I was going to say but better. It is easy to judge others as a group but every single child in difficulty matters and they all are individual cases with different problems to the next. Why they get into trouble needs to be dealt with by future government but I can tell you that what we have today is a result of decades of British Government relaxing discipline in schools, increasing Health & safety measures and putting normal working people into poverty. Try having some compassion for the resulting feral kids, and respect has to work both ways.

  9. This amount is not really surprising as most times the crime of carrying a knife is not reported in the papers it seems to be only when it’s used its news plus I’ve thought for ages that police are keeping the amount of youths caught with knives out of the papers so as not to glorifying the fact so many are carrying one!! My main concern is the a portion of blame on the parents what I’m saying concerns a family I know. What can parents do when they have brought their kids up properly 2 behave in a proper manner one has got in with the wrong crowd they have tried everything got all the help from the the social people who deal hoodlums this person is an child into drugs and knife crime. Do you still blame the parents it’s not for the want of trying only way was for the parents to report all crimes he commits to police then it is up to the courts he has spent time inside but is out again doing crime he caries a knife at all times still. He lives in thanet between friends houses his parents don’t live here I know them and you couldn’t wish for more upstanding people who have a bad apple in the family. It’s not always the parents fault. It is a problem for them. When these habitual hoodlums get caught they need bigger sentences keep them of our streets.

    • It is refreshing to read your comment as people are far to quick to judge & blame the parents when sometimes there is nothing whatsoever the parents can do, no matter how well the children have been brought up within a loving hard working family and had decent principals installed in them. Even 15 years old they can be nearing 6 feet tall, if they are going out, no matter what the consequences that you put to them, they will go out. They can also go out after you are asleep at night, without anyone in the family being aware that they are or were out at all. This is not every case, but people are too quick to blame parents without any knowledge of the family.

  10. We need community police gathering information by talking to residents and be involved with local schools, police must be pro active to prevent crime as well as being reactive

  11. The age of criminal responsibility is 10 and therefore parents cannot be held responsible in law, for persons above that age. One might ask how that is possible ,but that is another debate.
    You want to know how all this compares to the good old days; well in the Elizabethan and Jacobean period there was a phenomenon of the roaring boys who went around in gangs pillaging likely victims.For centuries right through to the interwar years, there was a fear of the poor and what they might do.Justice was meted out by the forces of law and order in an informal way. Pre war the prison population was around 10,000. Today it is around 95/97,000. The big leap in criminality was during the war.
    Post war there have been moral panics on knife crime (several times), theft of mobile phones, teenage delinquency, gang culture (several times), teen age pregnancies, moral degeneration (constantly) and fear of the other. The media spends much of its time raising banner headlines, such as here, increasing the general level of fear and concern.
    So, what ‘s it all about. There are, and always will be, rat bags , who act anti socially for various reasons.We also continually expect children to behave well and morally, when we signally, fail to do so ourselves.We exclude and treat others unfairly and young minds pick up on this and act accordingly. This is no excuse for criminal or anti social behaviour, but we, via our policies and social attitudes create a seed bed for social dysfunction. If you want a society at peace with itself, with relatively low levels of crime; create a just society, an effective police force and educate, educate, educate, so that a cohesive, well educated citizenry,demands and gets, effective government and not government by slogan.

    • Twenty years ago a Thanet accused copper was found guilty He had falsified reports in an attempt to cover up how a handcuffed prisoner sustained a broken neck. The Pc who deliberately drove erratically to harm the prisoner he too was guilty. The record falsifying Pc was not sent to prison but commended for coming clean after X rays showed the extent of the injury a time Pc knew it would come on top and was anxious for Brownie points. He told the court on oath he feared to tell the truth cos all Thanet police would be against him

      They made that Pc schools liaison officer.

      At the time there were Thanet plod who self described as “Thanet street warriors” allegedly connected with the use of anabolic steroid in police. Roid Ragers That was nearly 20 years after we banned all off duty Kent Police from Neros club as we were sick of throwing the thugs out.

      There was a conviction about ten years ago of a Thanet plod for hitting himself to blame injury on a prisoner whom the plod had in fact attacked. And currently a trial of a Thanet Pc who seems to have invented an armed gang as assailants in a graveyard.

      There have been great laughs in recent times like Thanet police swearing they had seen and identified a man and his vehicle driving dangerously. Only to be laughed out when defence produced a car valeting company electronics record showing the car and its owner in the valetng company at the time sworn to by senior plod as seeing car and driver on the road.

      The plod got proactive again and produced statements saying they followed him in his car twenty minutes and demanded a breath test from him after he entered his house, Only to be confounded that the man wore an ASBO anklet showing he had never left his kitchen that evening.

      Those stories of real events are what educate educate educate and the lesson is plod are bent laughable immature inadequate fantasists.

  12. George Nokes is right. But the just society is still a very long way away and recent political developments don’t bring it any closer. (Not that that’s a reason for the state to abdicate responsibility for its actions.)

  13. You are morons if you think teenagers can be controlled by their parents and that parents should be punished for kids crimes. How about the fact that society as a whole glamorises gang behaviour through music and social media. Drugs and alcohol are also easy to obtain. Parents cannot physically restrain an adult sized stroppy teen in a house it is impossible. They have their own minds and will. Society needs to change and people need to stop blaming parents who lets face it are probably doing the best they can in the situation

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