This article addresses the official responses by various governmental agencies and departments to the perceived increase in juvenile crime - seen mainly as a male phenomenon - in Scotland during the Second World War. The war forced administrators to both contest and affirm current ideas about the punishment and treatment of juvenile offenders at a time of crisis when national unity was a concern. Experts saw the problem of delinquency as related to the breakdown of family life and the social disorganization caused by war conditions. The war also reinforced experts' fears about the lack of citizenship among school children and teenagers. There was consequently considerable discussion about recreational facilities available for children and young adults. As a result this study reveals the indistinct boundaries between juvenile crime, youth culture and welfare during World War II in Scotland.