Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 11:54 UK

Numbers of violent women rising

Woman in handcuffs
Youths and children make up a quarter of those arrested

More women are being arrested for committing violent attacks than ever before, new figures reveal.

A Ministry of Justice report shows numbers in England and Wales are up by 11% from 78,900 in 2005/06 to 87,200 in 2006/07 and have doubled in four years.

This means 240 women are arrested daily for violent crime like street brawls, grievous bodily harm and murder.

A ministry spokesperson said police are "taking action against violent offenders whoever they are".

Youths aged 10-17 made up over a quarter of those held with women aged 21 and over, making up the bulk of the numbers at 52,800.

It is the first time the numbers of women arrested for violent crimes have overtaken the numbers held for theft and handling stolen goods. They make up over a third of the total recorded crime.

Offensive weapons

The largest increase in crime for men was also in the "violence against the person" category.

The number of men arrested for violent crimes has also risen by more than 31,000 to 400,900 since 2005/06, with those aged 21 and over the greater offenders.

The report also shows that the total number of people found carrying offensive weapons during stop and searches is more than four times the figure it was 12 years ago.

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