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Youth involvement in crime is a perennial issue of interest for the media, government and researchers. The 2010 House of Representatives Standing Committee report Avoid the Harm - Stay Calm (Endnote 1) explored the difficulties in identifying the realities of youth violence in Australia within public debate. Bringing together various statistical data sources to create a cohesive picture of youth involvement in crime and justice has been identified as a key priority in addressing this issue.
The consequences of youth offending and youth victimisation can have broad and far reaching effects. Youth victims and offenders can be affected adversely in terms of their development such as loss of education and loss of opportunities. This in turn can affect whole families and the wider community through, for example, increased costs of health and welfare services and reduced employment and educational opportunities (Endnote 2).