Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Thousands of crimes by under-10s

‘Almost 3,000 crimes were reported last year where the suspect was too young to be prosecuted, the BBC has learned.

Figures show about 1,300 incidents of criminal damage and arson, and more than 60 sex offences where suspects were under-10s in England and Wales.

If a child is nine or under, he or she cannot be charged with an offence but there are calls for the age of criminal responsibility to be lowered. [..]

Lawrence Lee, who was solicitor for Jon Venables, one of two 10-year-olds who murdered two-year-old James Bulger in 1993, said lowering the age of criminal responsibility would send an important message to child offenders.

He added: “As a defence lawyer I would say no, it wouldn’t be a good thing.

“But if I wear my citizen’s hat, I would say if you go along to any estate and see the age of kids marauding around like a pack of wolves, you’d see that reducing the age of criminal responsibility to eight or nine would be vital.”‘

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