CHILDREN as young as 13 have been arrested by local cops for housebreaking over the past three years, a shocking new report has revealed.

Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives show that the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) have received more than 20 referrals from Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire since 2014.

That has led to calls for more to be done to help kids steer clear of crime.

Shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: “Being broken into and robbed is one of the most upsetting things that can happen to a household.

“For victims, it’s irrelevant what age the perpetrators are – it remains terrifying and can leave a lasting impact.

“We need to get in and ensure these youngsters are put on the right path because, once people start out on this road to a career in crime, it’s extremely hard to get them off it.”

Since 2014, there have been nine reports of children under the age of 16 being arrested for housebreaking in Renfrewshire.

Children as young as 13 have been reported in this area, while kids caught committing similar crimes in East Renfrewshire were aged between 13 and 16.

The problem is even more alarming in other parts of Scotland, where children as young as eight have been reported for housebreaking.

Glasgow topped the list of local authority areas in Scotland with the most children reported for the offence, at 79, with a total of 65 reported in Edinburgh and another 42 in North Lanarkshire.

Mr Kerr added: “It’s alarming that hundreds of children have been referred for this crime across Scotland in recent years – and the trend isn’t improving.

“When children who haven’t even reached their teens are being referred for this, questions really do have to be asked about the parents too.”