If a couple of kids managed to provide the evidence that allowed the police to convict a thief (as in the Famous Five), what would a UK newspaper headline be? "Kids catch thief"? "Children catch thief"? "Children convict thief"? ... ?

I couldn't find any real news headlines where children solved a crime case and don't know:

  • if children would be referred to as "kids" or as "children"
  • what a common phrase would be for "X caught / helped catch a criminal"

I'm specifically after British English.

  • It depends on the paper (and, perhaps, the seriousness of the crime). Kids Cop Crook in a tabloid, maybe? (I suspect this will be closed as off-topic. There is a "writing" stack exchange; that might allow questions like this)
    – user184130
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 19:23
  • @JamesRandom I'm more after the Guardian or some regional newspaper, not The Sun.
    – user310556
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 19:29
  • Children’s Role Crucial in Conviction (or Apprehension) of Suspects ?
    – user184130
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 19:43
  • In the US, at least, "nab" might be used instead of "catch". And "finger" might be used, if the kids provided the evidence against the felons.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 20:01
  • 1
    And, of course, "He might have got away with it if it weren't for those pesky kids"
    – user184130
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 20:35

2 Answers 2


There is no possible way to predict what the headline would be in this case.

Headline writers are individual, and might write anything they think is appropriate. Moreover headlines are often chosen to fit within the available column width, so the choice might well depend on where in the paper the headline was to occur. Different papers take different views on which abbreviations are appropriate on which occasions. A tabloid might be more included to use 'kids' than a broadsheet, but neither might think it appropriate to a serious story as opposed to a lighter one.

NOTE: 'Convict' is not going to be correct here. Conviction of a thief is done by a court, not by police, and definitely not by children.


If you want a newspaper headline then I offer

Cool kids crack case

Headlines are rarely grammatically correct sentences. They are usually abbreviated to create a catchy attraction to the story.

My example adds some ambiguity as added attraction to read what the story is about.

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