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Journalism student’s child crimes probe makes national headlines

Lauren CoxA journalism student’s investigation into crimes committed by children has sparked coverage from several national newspapers.

University of Portsmouth third-year student Lauren Cox submitted Freedom of Information requests to every police force in the UK asking for the number of suspected crimes committed by those aged under 10.

She received 25 responses and worked out that in just over a decade there had been 34,000 crimes committed by children too young to be prosecuted.

The story was pitched to the nationals with help from her tutor and has since been featured as a double-page spread in the Daily Express – even receiving a mention on the front page.

Stories based on her investigation were also published in the Daily Star, Daily Mirror and Metro.

Lauren, pictured, said: “It took a while to put the story together because I was waiting for responses from the police forces while also trying to contact potential interviewees, and sorting all the data was probably the hardest part.

“It’s been a really rewarding process because I know how much effort I put into it, so seeing my work in the nationals has been a really proud moment.”

Senior journalism lecturer Paul Foster, who supported Lauren with her project, added: “This was a fantastic example of data journalism.

“The initial idea came as a result of an FoI session we held in class and Lauren decided to take on the project.

“She showed great determination and skill throughout, from sending off the requests, then analysing the responses, to finally tracking down sources to interview.”