Lawmakers expressed alarm yesterday that more than half of juvenile crimes last year were committed by youths aged 15 or under. Police arrested 9,079 young people last year, with 57 per cent - or 5,156 - of them aged between seven and 15 and the rest aged between 16 and 18. Of those aged 15 or under, 1,688 were arrested for snatching, pickpocketing and shop theft. This was more than three times the 532 aged between 16 and 18 who were caught for the same crimes. A further 904 of those in the younger age bracket were arrested for miscellaneous thefts, compared with 536 suspects in the older age range. Of those aged between seven and 15, 596 were arrested for serious assault, 387 for robbery, 108 for wounding, 102 for blackmail and 76 for indecent assault. In the 16 to 18 age range, 533 were for serious assault, 300 for robbery, 186 for wounding, 81 for blackmail, 27 for indecent assault and 11 for rape. Legislator Wong Shing-chi said while the age group of seven to 15 was larger than 16 to 18, the proportions of the crimes by the young children substantially outnumbered the older age group. Another legislator speaking at the Finance Committee yesterday, Li Fung-ying, questioned whether the police had introduced sufficient measures and resources to combat juvenile crime. Police Commissioner Dick Lee Ming-kwai said they had been promoting a series of educational and publicity campaigns. 'It's through these activities that we manage to stabilise the juvenile crime situation,' he said.