WikiWirral is where great friendships are made.
Forum Stats
12226 Members
65 Forums
72755 Topics
980590 Posts
35 posts in the last 24hrs
Max Online: 7831 @ 8th Apr 2013 4:18pm
Who's Online - Click Me
73 registered (11kendo, 13 invisible), 1734 Guests and 179 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Social Media : Follow Us


(Views 7days)This Weeks Most Read
Doris is on her way 1264
vet fees 409
Internet Explorer Not Working 391
Is This ART ? 370
Chef's knife. 342
Dangerous Tumble Dryers 334
roofers 235
Seeking old pictures of Egerton Street area, Birkenhead 222
Wirral Bus Review 219
Aerial engineer 217
New General Forums
Nigel Farage speaks at the CPAC.
by snowhite
24th Feb 2017 6:28pm
Is This ART ?
by granny
23rd Feb 2017 9:56am
Wirral track renewal
by snowhite
22nd Feb 2017 2:42pm
Ice in the 1800's
by granny
21st Feb 2017 9:47pm
New Wirral History
Seeking old pictures of Egerton Street area, Birkenhead
by yoller
19th Feb 2017 7:53pm
TS Indefatigable
by granny
18th Feb 2017 3:32pm
RIP : Chris Kay
by granny
31st Aug 2016 9:25am
Children's home on the Overchurch
by xleahx
26th Apr 2011 7:01pm
423 Archers, Wirral Mark Rake, Wirral, Merseyside
by derekdwc
13th Sep 2009 10:50pm
Forum Tips
Photo Gallery Forums
fireworks on the Mersey last night
Hadlow train station
Topic Replies
What song are you listening to?
by snowshoes
0 seconds ago
Removal of Shed Timber
by fish5133
Yesterday at 10:45 PM
Tranmere Rovers
by starakita
Yesterday at 09:52 PM
Is This ART ?
by Greenwood
Yesterday at 07:06 PM
Doris is on her way
by diggingdeeper
Yesterday at 06:06 PM
Wiki Ghost Hunters Chat
by venice
Yesterday at 03:47 PM
Rescued Animals.
by venice
Yesterday at 03:43 PM
Blaupunkt 32" tv
by jaylow
Yesterday at 03:04 PM
Wirral Bus Review
by Excoriator
Yesterday at 09:13 AM
February
M Tu W Th F Sa Su
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28
Recent Posts : What's On ?
Lion Salt Works/Weaver Hall Museum
by venice
19th Feb 2017 12:19pm
Wirral TUC Meeting re Update on Wallasey CLP Suspe
by RUDEBOX
13th Feb 2017 8:50pm
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#330410 - 16th Jun 2009 7:17pm Can children be criminals?
_jase_
Unregistered


Can children be criminals?



What is the right age to hold children responsible for their criminal acts? Eight? 10? 14? 18?

With a spate of violent crime being committed by seemingly ever younger people, the question has never been more difficult to answer, or more important.
Plans to raise the age of criminal responsibility in Scotland from eight to 12 will leave England, Wales and Northern Ireland with the lowest such age in Europe, at just 10.

In Spain it is 16, in Belgium 18. So, should the rest of the UK follow Scotland? Or perhaps raise the age even higher?

At Thames Youth Court in east London, 15 year-old-Germaine (not his real name) pleaded guilty to a robbing a pizza delivery driver. But should he have been in court?

"I think it's a good thing because they will learn that this is what leads you into jail," his mother said.

The Bulger murder

Much of the debate that rages around the age of criminal responsibility is rooted in the 1993 prosecution of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson for the brutal murder of two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool.

Back then, in addition to the overwhelming national revulsion at the abduction and murder, there was also a heated debate as to whether two boys, aged 10 at the time of the killing, should stand trial for murder.

The case and the haunting, grainy cctv images of the two boys leading the toddler from a shopping centre to his death still resonate powerfully today.

In recent years, however, new scientific evidence has shed further light on the way children's brains develop.

Knowing right from wrong


"There's a very substantial evidence base to show that children aged 10 are not fully mature," said Dr Eileen Vizard, a child psychiatrist with the NSPCC's Child Offender Service.

"They show developmental immaturity in terms of their physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development," she said.

She points to recent evidence on the structure and functioning of young brains which suggests that development continues beyond adolescence and into the mid-20s.

Though children of 10 may know the difference between "big rights and big wrongs", Dr Vizard believes they do not have the capacity to participate fully and fairly in a criminal trial, and that 14 or 15 should be a bare minimum age for criminal responsibility.

Perhaps surprisingly though, Laurence Lee, the solicitor who represented Jon Venables, takes issue with that:

"It's impossible to say that you can't prosecute children of 10 because their brains aren't sufficiently developed. For society's own protection there should be the potential and the possibility of a 10-year-old being prosecuted.

"I think the crime rate would rocket if that sword of Damocles didn't exist over a young defendant's head."

Last year more than 11,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 13 were prosecuted in the criminal courts in England and Wales. In the 14 to 17-year-old category that rose to around 107,000.

In court

At Thames Youth Court, a small 13-year-old boy appeared on a charge of racially aggravated assault.

When aged 12, he had allegedly hit a girl he knew and called her a "Paki". The two lived on the same estate and the claimed injuries were relatively minor.

At a preliminary hearing in court the judge asked the Crown Prosecution Service whether it was really in the public interest that the case proceeded. It showed no inclination to discontinue it.

When he was asked which parts of the proceedings were difficult to follow, the boy replied, "All of it".

His mother said she thought it ridiculous that a full trial take place. She believes children should be dealt with outside court.

"Their parents should be spoken to, they should be warned," she said.

She was angry that following a one or two-day trial in a few months time, her son could be found guilty and would get a criminal record.

Other young people in court that day were there for a variety of assaults, thefts and robberies.

Those who pleaded guilty, or were found guilty, would also get a criminal record.

Norwegian law

In Norway, the age of criminal responsibility is 15 and there is a far more welfare-based approach to the problem of child offending.

Reidar Hjermann, the Norwegian Children's Ombudsman, believes 10 is far too young.

"A child does not choose to commit or not commit a crime," he said. "They do it because they have a difficult life."

Lynne Costello from Mothers Against Murder and Aggression (MAMAA), which supports families whose children have been murdered and provides education programmes for the young, disagrees.

"The kids know the law is soft," she said. "If we raise the age they will be getting younger people to carry their weapons or their drugs.

"We have to tell children 'you have done wrong', and if that means going through the court system that's what we have to do."

Setting the age of criminal responsibility is fantastically difficult. People do not want to demonise children, but worry about a younger generation with greater temptations and looser boundaries.

The government has no plans to raise the current age of 10, but many lawyers and child psychiatrists believe there is a strong case for doing so.

Law In Action will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 16 June at 1600 GMT. You can listen to the programme for seven days afterwards via the BBC iPlayer , or download the free podcast .

THE BBC

Top
National News : Advertising
Click me for more Information......

WikiWirral Numbers : Between 150 and 200 New Members Every Month. With Over 3,500 unique visits and 35,000 Page Views each day. Average +500 Search Engines Daily and over 1,000,000 Million Page views a Month. Advertising from £20 . Click Me
#330415 - 16th Jun 2009 7:24pm Re: Can children be criminals? [Re: ]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Once they hit 13, they are imho, well aware of their actions. I know for sure I knew the difference between right and wrong, it's common sense more than anything.

Teenager = young adult nowadays. They all want to act and behave like young adults, want to be treated like youg adults, and thus should take responsibility like young adults.

Top
#330421 - 16th Jun 2009 7:37pm Re: Can children be criminals? [Re: MattLFC]
Softy_Southerner Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 2nd May 2008
Posts: 4090
Loc: Back in Devon
Either the child or the parents are responsible for the actions of the child.
If the law considers that the child is too young to be in the dock then the parents should appear.
We cannot say that the child is too young therefore no one is responsible - IMHO.
If the parent has to answer for their child's actions they may be inclined to take an interest in their whereabouts.
Maybe I'm over simplifying it but it makes sense to me.


Edited by Softy_Southerner (16th Jun 2009 7:38pm)

Top
#331793 - 24th Jun 2009 2:00pm Re: Can children be criminals? [Re: Softy_Southerner]
Jubbly Offline
Member

Registered: 19th Jan 2009
Posts: 86
Loc: Merseyside
Originally Posted By: Softy_Southerner
Either the child or the parents are responsible for the actions of the child.
If the law considers that the child is too young to be in the dock then the parents should appear.
We cannot say that the child is too young therefore no one is responsible - IMHO.
If the parent has to answer for their child's actions they may be inclined to take an interest in their whereabouts.
Maybe I'm over simplifying it but it makes sense to me.


I totally agree. It was drilled into us as kids that the minute we stepped out of the front door we were representative of the good family we came from. It was made clear that Anything we did to shame the family would be punished. Irrespective of the law, incidentally !

Top
#331800 - 24th Jun 2009 3:09pm Re: Can children be criminals? [Re: Jubbly]
ponytail Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 31st Dec 2008
Posts: 578
Loc: wirral
I think children can play the system, the adults and the social workers. In Scotland children under 16 are dealt with via childrens' hearings and not in open court, unless it is in the public's interest.

If they choose to accept the child is responsible at 12 then they have neglected the precident:- Mary Bell was 11 when she was given a life sentence in 1968 after being found guilty of the manslaughter of four-year-old Martin Brown, and Brian Howe, 3, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.


As mentioned, age was discussed in Scotland and that there should be an absolute bar against prosecuting children under the age of 12. Although opinion on consultation was divided, the majority of those responding favoured a bar. A bar at this age would be consistent with the requirements of the European Convention of Human Rights. 12 is also the age at which a child is presumed to have sufficient maturity and understanding for many civil law purposes, including participating in civil court proceedings.

A children's hearing should be able to deal with all children who commit offences even if they are too young to be prosecuted. At present a child under 8 is presumed not to be guilty of any offence and it has been held (Merrin v S 1987 SLT 193) that such a child cannot be referred to a hearing on the ground of having committed an offence.

I do not think Scotland will differ from England - we can always adhere to the requirements of the European Convention of Human Rights, stating 12 as the age of responsibility. This legislation will ultimately win in our law courts. Although it would be appropriate for us to set our own age as we see fit.

Top
#331824 - 24th Jun 2009 9:38pm Re: Can children be criminals? [Re: ponytail]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9786
Loc: Birkenhead
Ignoring the few hardcore kids, there are many that need some sort threat in place to discourage them from doing wrong. Kids like many adults think that a victimless crime os ok, but the child is not capable of foreseeing what is victimless - how many times do you here statements like "its ok it will be insured" or "it didn't really hurt him".

Parents have no longer the power to be responsible for their kids, they aren't allowed to smack, they are not allowed to lock children in rooms etc etc and the kids know it! If a child walks out the house and commits a crime, how is it fair that the parent is responsible.

Kids should be responsible for their actions, it should be up to some judicial system to decide punishment on individual basis. Record should be wiped when they leave school but reinstated on first crime.

If kids aren't resposible it won't be long before you have older kids running their own private armies of crime-exempt soldiers ... then what?
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

Top
#331833 - 24th Jun 2009 9:53pm Re: Can children be criminals? [Re: diggingdeeper]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1537
Loc: Birkenhead
The do- gooders of this world are blinkered to the problems that they have created. In the 40s and 50s if you did wrong at school you got the cane, if do did wrong in the street a neighbour dragged to to your parents and you got belted. there where still a few bad lads but in general most kids respected there elders. Respect and knowing if you did wrong and got caught you where punished kept you in line.
_________________________
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

Top
#331844 - 24th Jun 2009 10:25pm Re: Can children be criminals? [Re: jimbob]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9786
Loc: Birkenhead
If you got the cane at school, you got belted when you got home!

Top
#331848 - 24th Jun 2009 10:37pm Re: Can children be criminals? [Re: jimbob]
kimpri Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 29th Oct 2008
Posts: 3553
Loc: birkenhead
i can remember getting a clip round the ear of the local beat bobby for smoking mid 60s and then he took me home told me mum ouch that's for bringing a policeman to the door.respect and manners cost nothing...
_________________________
Does your vacuum suck? Get a Dyson!!



Top
#331861 - 25th Jun 2009 12:00am Re: Can children be criminals? [Re: diggingdeeper]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Originally Posted By: diggingdeeper
If you got the cane at school, you got belted when you got home!

Yeah, my uncle confessed to recieving the cane to my grandad... on his deathbead. Seriously, he was in his final couple of days having lost the fight to cancer, and he confessed that to my grandad.

He said he had been petrified of revealing it when he was younger, cos he'd get a clip round the ear (funnily enough, my grandad was the local bobby) and would have felt ashamed...

How times and social attitudes change eh!

Top

Moderator:  Mod 
Random Wirral Images

Click to View Topic.
Newest Topics
Tranmere Rovers
by cools
Yesterday at 09:17 PM
Removal of Shed Timber
by Julie64
Yesterday at 01:31 PM
Wirral Bus Review
by Norton
24th Feb 2017 11:42am
Aerial engineer
by ponytail
23rd Feb 2017 6:01pm
roofers
by thisledous
23rd Feb 2017 4:44pm
For Sale & Free
Blaupunkt 32" tv
by jaylow
Yesterday at 03:04 PM
2 x Sum 41 tickets Manchester 25/02
by turnip
24th Feb 2017 7:47am
Sony Smartwatch 2
by Mike_Hoylake
23rd Feb 2017 9:25pm
Brother printer
by saltytom
23rd Feb 2017 11:02am
Mk6 Golf TDI 1.6
by Cjoshea
22nd Feb 2017 11:05pm
Featured Member
Registered: 23rd Oct 2013
Posts: 4
Newest Members
Scoobyp1, Bradshawbatho, raybb, CliveK, vonny
12226 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
New Wirral Info
Removal of Shed Timber
by Julie64
Yesterday at 01:31 PM
Aerial engineer
by ponytail
23rd Feb 2017 6:01pm
roofers
by thisledous
23rd Feb 2017 4:44pm
Lion Salt Works/Weaver Hall Museum
by paxvobiscum
18th Feb 2017 9:19pm
Patio work
by steamfan
18th Feb 2017 3:45pm
News : New Topics
Wirral Bus Review
by Norton
24th Feb 2017 11:42am
Dangerous Tumble Dryers
by diggingdeeper
23rd Feb 2017 2:03pm
Doris is on her way
by granny
22nd Feb 2017 8:43pm
Hezballah
by venice
17th Feb 2017 11:15am
On-street parking charges dropped
by oldpm01
15th Feb 2017 9:10am
New Enthusiast Forums
Tranmere Rovers
by cools
Yesterday at 09:17 PM
Chef's knife.
by Beethoven
23rd Feb 2017 12:39pm
irish music entertainer for St Patrick's night
by kazaroo
22nd Feb 2017 3:07pm
Internet Explorer Not Working
by fish5133
22nd Feb 2017 12:25am
vet fees
by eggandchips
20th Feb 2017 12:01am
(Views 24hrs)Trending Newest Topics
Removal of Shed Timber 81
Tranmere Rovers 45
Wirral Sunrise Sunset
Sunrise Sun 7:04am
Sunset Sun 5:45pm
Local Time Sun 12:54am
WikiWirral Can . . . .