The number of young offenders who reoffend is at its highest level for a decade.
Ministry of Justice statistics show that of the 74,684 10- to 17-year-olds who were either cautioned, or handed a community or custodial sentence in 2011, 26,819 reoffended within 12 months – a rate of 35.9 per cent.
This represents an increase of 0.6 per cent on 2010 when the rate was 35.3 per cent and is higher than at any other time over the last 11 years in which comparative full calendar year figures are available.
Frances Done, chair of the Youth Justice Board, said: "The reoffending rate of a small group of young people in England and Wales remains high and these latest figures emphasise this.
"However this must be viewed against the wider context, which shows the overall level of youth offending is falling and the number of first-time entrants is continuing to reduce.
"As a result the youth justice system now manages a smaller cohort, consisting of the most prolific, difficult and challenging young people.
"Notwithstanding this, it remains one of our priorities, to ensure this group receives the most effective rehabilitation, along with support around education and welfare, to ensure they lead a life free from crime and help reduce reoffending in the future."
Although the overall reoffending rate increased, the rate for young offenders released from custody in 2011 has gone down.
The statistics show it has fallen to 70.7 per cent, a fall of 0.3 of a percentage point compared to the previous 12 months and fall of 6.1 percentage points since 2000.
Meanwhile, separate Ministry of Justice statistics show that the number of antisocial behaviour orders (Asbos) being issued to children and young people has fallen to its lowest level since 2002.
In 2012, a total of 273 Asbos were issued to 10- to 17-year-olds, a 27.2 per cent fall on the 2011 figure of 375.
The figures show there has been a steady and dramatic fall in the number of Asbos issued to children and young people since the peak in 2005 when 1,581 were issued.
The statistics also showed that since 2000, juveniles are more likely than adults to breach their order.
They account for a disproportionate number of Asbo breaches, 44 per cent, despite accounting for just 37 per cent of Asbos issued. In total, nearly two-thirds of young people breached their Asbo.
Asbos are set to be replaced by new measures to tackle antisocial behaviour, which are currently being legislated for in the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill going through parliament.
Penelope Gibbs, chair of the Standing Committee for Youth Justice, suggested the fall in Asbos issued to young people is because they are ineffective in preventing reoffending.
"Nearly two-thirds of children breach their Asbos, which means the restrictions did not work.
"Asbos are a very blunt instrument to deal with problematic behaviour.
"If it's really low-level troublemaking, it would be better dealt with through restorative justice.
"Most serious 'anti-social behaviour' incidents are, in fact, crimes and would be better dealt with in the justice system."
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