Monday, 16 January 2012

Raise the age of criminal responsibility

The think tank set up by Tory minister Ian Duncan Smith, has joined in calls for the raising of the age of criminal responsibility. The centre's proposal to raise the age to 12 would bring England, Wales and Northern Ireland in line with Scotland.

The Government should look at this proposal very seriously. There are calls from every quarter, including England's Children's Commissioner, to raise the age, which I believe should be 14.

It is important to remember that raising the age of criminal responsibility does not mean doing nothing about crimes committed by children. In many cases there will need to be intervention, either to protect the public or the child in question. The point is that the criminal courts are not the best place for this to happen.