New data released by a peak sentencing body shows children as young as 10 years old are committing arson, as firefighters battle bushfires across country.
New data released by a peak sentencing body shows children as young as 10 years old are committing arson, as firefighters battle bushfires across country.

Alarming number of kids committing arson

MORE than 20 per cent of people sentenced for arson in Queensland in the past 12 years have been children.

New data released by the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council found the youngest juvenile offender sentenced for arson between 2005 and 2018 was aged just 10, with the oldest offender aged 74.

The statistics provided by the peak body noted 1602 fire offences during the period, with 1333 of those cases listed as being the offender's most serious crime.

1137 of the total cases were committed as arson.

Within the Queensland judiciary system, 21.7 per cent of offenders were children and carried penalties including detention, community service and probation.

The data collected by QSAC showed men in their 20s were the most likely to commit a fire crime.

Of all the cases committed, 88 per cent of offenders were male with an average age of 25.4.

579 cases were sentenced with the penalty of imprisonment.

Of those offences for arson, 644 were the arson of a motor vehicle, train, aircraft or vessel.

483 of the cases were for the arson of a building.

The act of arson is described as "intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging property through the use of fire".

A conviction can result in a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.