Figures from the Department for Education (DfE) show that hundreds of primary school pupils are being suspended for racial abuse and unacceptable sexual behaviour, the Daily Mail reports.
The statistics reveal that 720 pupils were suspended last year, with 470 of those cases regarding racial abuse. A total of 250 children were sent home for unacceptable sexual behaviour.
Suspensions of primary school children have seen an upward trend more generally, rising 2 percent in the last five years.
The paper reports that a variety of incidents around the country have involved children as young as five years old, with some cases caught on camera.
In November, a video surfaced online of a young boy shouting along to a foul-mouthed football chant and then saying a racist remark.
The boy, who looks around five years old, can be heard chanting repeatedly ‘Millwall, Millwall, f*** ‘em all, f*** ‘em all’ alongside the woman as they sit inside a car.
He then shouts ‘You f***ing black c***’ at the end of the clip as he looks into the camera and points.
Manchester Police said they were investigating an incident earlier this year where a nine-year-old from Manchester allegedly told a classmate ‘my dad told me not to sit next to Jews’ while an eight-year-old girl from Cheshire was accused of sustaining the abuse towards a female victim for two years.
As children cannot be held criminally responsible below the age of ten, local police forces can only investigate the incidents and make reports.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton, NPCC lead for Hate Crime, previously told MailOnline:
“Children under 10 are below the age of criminal responsibility. They cannot be prosecuted for any offence.
Police can take reports of any hate incident but in cases involving children under 10 police will not take any criminal action against a child.
Police may however work with families, schools and other agencies to ensure that there is a proportionate and age appropriate response to these issues.”