Muscat: Oman has a witnessed a 22.1 per cent drop in the number of crimes committed by juveniles in 2017, according to figures released by the Public Prosecution.

Statistics show 848 juveniles committed crimes in 2017, compared to 1,090 in 2016, with juvenile crimes standing at 506 in 2015, compared to 423 crimes in 2014.

In 2012, the number of juveniles who committed crimes was 668, while 457 juveniles broke the law in 2013.

In 2017, 750 of these juveniles were Omanis, while the remaining 98 were expatriates. Also, officials reported that 792 offenders were male and 56 female.

Dhofar topped the list of governorates when it came to the number of crimes committed by juveniles in 2017, registering 151 incidents.

It was followed by Dakhliyah governorate, which saw 129 cases, North Batinah with 70 cases and North Sharqiyah with 67. South Sharqiyah registered 57 cases and South Batinah saw 33 cases. Wusta recorded no juvenile crimes and Musandam registered just one case.

Theft topped the crimes committed by juveniles, with as many as 322 reported.

This was followed by inflicting harm, with 73 cases, instances of ‘insulting of dignity’ numbered 48, and 37 cases of sexual assault were recorded.

Also, there were 24 traffic violations by minors and 22 violations of cyber laws.

The age of the juveniles who committed crimes ranged between 10 and 17. Cases involving girls were very rare, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Development urged parents to focus on awareness campaigns to build a successful family, and focus on their role in raising children and caring for them, especially when they are in their adolescent years.

Ahmad Al Hatmi, a social worker, told Gulf News that bad company and insufficient parental guidance are the main reasons that drive young people to commit crimes.

“Parents have to watch their children and give them enough care and time, which will curb the number of crimes in the country,” said Al Hatmi.

An official at the Royal Oman Police told Gulf News that juvenile delinquents receive excellent care at both Samayil Central Prison and Muscat Juvenile Centre as well as rehabilitation and awareness programmes catering to juveniles.

The official added such juveniles are also allowed to continue their studies in prison.