Crime info

A crime, or offence, occurs when a person commits a deliberate act that breaks the law. (Governments pass laws against actions that they consider to be harmful or dangerous.)

When a person commits a crime it can result in a caution, a fixed penalty fine, a court case or – if the offence is very serious – a prison sentence.

Crime affects people from all backgrounds and of all ages, but children and young people can be especially vulnerable.

There are many different types of crime and, sadly, most people will experience a crime at some point in their lives.

Young people can be affected by all sorts of crime, including:

Theft and robbery

Theft is when somebody steals, or takes something from you without your permission and with no intention of giving it back. Robbery is when someone takes something from you with violence or threats.

Online crime

Online crime includes many things such as bullying and harassment, including sexting, where someone sends you a sexual message, video or photo.

Identity fraud is also a type of online crime. This is when someone uses your personal information online, such as your name, email address and/or bank details, to make others think they are you, to steal from you or to commit a crime in your name.

Being threatened or hurt

An assault is when someone physically attacks you, or threatens to attack you. It includes being pushed, shoved, punched or kicked, and can involve weapons. It also includes sexual assault, and antisocial behaviour


Burglary is when someone breaks into a building, for example your house, and steals or attempts to steal something.

Hate crime

Hate crime happens when someone is abusive, harasses you, makes threats or is violent towards you because of your identity. For example because of your disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender or transgender identity.


Bullying is someone doing something on purpose that hurts or upsets you. It may be verbal, physical or emotional and may be a crime, especially if you are threatened, are hurt or if it is a hate crime.