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Should the Age of Criminal Responsibility be increased.


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Old 11-01-2011, 15:28
ladymoanalot
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Last night on "BBC Inside Out" the case where the two boys in Edlington, Doncatser were Tortured by two other young boys who were over the age of criminal responsibilty (which is 10 years old) was discussed

Some info on the case:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...e-in-fear.html

Due to the assailants being over the age of ten (12 &11) They were tried in the adult court system. they will receive a new identity on release.

The discussion on Inside Out suggested that these children were to young to be able to understand their actions and that the age of criminal responsibility should be increased. It seems we have a lower age than other countries known for having worse human rights than us.

Should it be raised to 14? as this is what was suggested on last nights program. Or do you think that at 10 years old a child will have sufficient mentality and experience to know right from wrong?
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:31
Lincoln Hawk
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It should be lowered, if anything. Raise it to 14 and you will see gangs giving guns to 13 year olds and getting them to carry out hits, safe in the knowledge that they will not face a minute in jail as a result (if anything, their life chances will improve as a result of it).
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:32
snow.mountain
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Definitely should be raised to at least 14.

Most tragic children like Baby P don't die, they survive. At the moment, they've got till the age of 10 before the nation's pity will turn to national outrage when they commit awful crimes.
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:33
flobadob
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Last night on "BBC Inside Out" the case where the two boys in Edlington, Doncatser were Tortured by two other young boys who were over the age of criminal responsibilty (which is 10 years old) was discussed

Some info on the case:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...e-in-fear.html

Due to the assailants being over the age of ten (12 &11) They were tried in the adult court system. they will receive a new identity on release.

The discussion on Inside Out suggested that these children were to young to be able to understand their actions and that the age of criminal responsibility should be increased. It seems we have a lower age than other countries known for having worse human rights than us.

Should it be raised to 14? as this is what was suggested on last nights program. Or do you think that at 10 years old a child will have sufficient mentality and experience to know right from wrong?
Their defence counsel should have argued that they were not responsible for their actions. That is a legitimate defence whether the accused is 10 or 50 years of age. Clearly the court did not accept this defence, or no such defence was offered.

Under the law at present judges and juries have the discretion to decide whether someone is responsible, which is better than Imposing a one-size-fits-all age limit.
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:34
Deep Purple
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Raised!!! I dont think so.

The number of young villains out there aged between 10 and 14 is enormous. Giving them a free hand to commit even more crime would be terrible.

Those kids who tortured the other one were well known thugs, and knew full well whet they were doing.
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:34
Aneechik
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I think society gains nothing from trying children in adult courts, but they shouldn't get away scot free with serious crimes they commit if they are under the age of responsibility.

I'd like to see how they deal with these things in more civilised countries that have higher ages of criminal responsibility.
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:36
Dan Fortesque
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How many people didn't know that it was wrong to hurt, tortue or kill another being when they were ten?
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:37
sbugg
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Definitely should be raised to at least 14.

Most tragic children like Baby P don't die, they survive. At the moment, they've got till the age of 10 before the nation's pity will turn to national outrage when they commit awful crimes.
Sorry, as much as I try (I've read it a dozen times) I don't understand what point you are trying to make there?
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:42
gashead
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I'm not sure if our legal system allows for this, but it should be each case judged on its own merits. In some criminal situations, a ten year will know full well what he's doing. Those two Doncaster lads carried out a brutal - by most people's standards - and prolonged assault. No-one can convince me they didn't know that what they were doing was wrong. On the other hand, a ten year old may not, for eg, be aware of the implications of hiding a gun for a friend, or some other situation where an older person with influence over them convinces them it's ok to do this or that. Fourteen is too high though. Any child that doesn't know right from wrong in almost all situations by that age, well, that in itself is a crime.
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:42
snow.mountain
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I suspect this thread will grow, and inevitably there will be people saying:

a) I had an awful/abusive childhood, and yet I am not a criminal, therefore you can't excuse 11 year old criminals (or indeed adults) with ANY reference to their childhood.
b) Some people are just born bad.

Both these arguments, which I've heard a million times, make me so so angry. I've worked for years in the mental health system in East London, and I have met many Baby Ps who grew up.
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:43
Hypnodisc
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How many people didn't know that it was wrong to hurt, tortue or kill another being when they were ten?
I don't think that's the point.

At 10, I knew 'killing' was wrong, but I didn't have enough comprehension to understand the gravity of what a loss of life is.

When I was around that age I was arguing with my sister and hit her with a spade on the head, and she ended up in A&E.. everything was alright, but the point is I didn't think about what I did, before I did it.. I was too young to have all the appreciations of an adult, or even someone a couple of years older who was in secondary school
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:45
snow.mountain
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Sorry, as much as I try (I've read it a dozen times) I don't understand what point you are trying to make there?
Baby P was a child who was basically used like a football for most of his brief life. He was burned with cigarettes, kicked, punched, etc.

Many children come from homes like this, before/unless they are 'rescued' by the care system. Many children of 10, 11, 12, who commit crimes come from homes like this. His was an extreme case, but abusive parents abound, sadly. Most of them were abused themselves. Physical/sexual/emotional abuse.
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:46
Hypnodisc
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I suspect this thread will grow, and inevitably there will be people saying:

a) I had an awful/abusive childhood, and yet I am not a criminal, therefore you can't excuse 11 year old criminals (or indeed adults) with ANY reference to their childhood.
b) Some people are just born bad.

Both these arguments, which I've heard a million times, make me so so angry. I've worked for years in the mental health system in East London, and I have met many Baby Ps who grew up.
Sorry but everyone does react differently to very specific and different situations. You cannot apply your experiences to everyone when it comes to things like that. That's just so black & white and doesn't take into account the fact peoples individual personalities and psychological influences vary wildly.

What didn't affect you could traumatize someone else and damage their personality
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:47
SULLA
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It should remain as it is and prosecutions should be based on all the circumstances.

Most Gyspy boys do not reach the age of 10 untill they can grow a beard.
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:48
Hobbit Feet
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Sorry but everyone does react differently to very specific and different situations. You cannot apply your experiences to everyone when it comes to things like that. That's just so black & white and doesn't take into account the fact peoples individual personalities and psychological influences vary wildly.

What didn't affect you could traumatize someone else and damage their personality
I think that is what he is saying.
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Old 11-01-2011, 15:48
snow.mountain
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Sorry but everyone does react differently to very specific and different situations. You cannot apply your experiences to everyone when it comes to things like that. That's just so black & white and doesn't take into account the fact peoples individual personalities and psychological influences vary wildly.

What didn't affect you could traumatize someone else and damage their personality
Read my post again mate.
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Old 11-01-2011, 16:01
DoctorQui
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I'm a bit of a fence sitter on this one!

On one side, we have the knowledge of what is right and wrong, from the age of 4 you are concious about what is right and what is wrong. How many of us parents, when confronting our children about something, have witnessed the guilty tears!

On the other hand we have a system that it too rigid to differentiate between degrees of crime particularly in terms of criminal responsibility!

The torture case, as wrong as it was, were the two older boys really aware that they were torturing the younger boys or just bullying/beating them? Bullying is wrong yes, but not criminal!

The James Bulger case is more cut and dried...taking a 3 year old away and doing what they did was clearly a concious act of wrong doing, and the boys would have been entirely aware that their actions were very wrong.

Although the age of criminal responsibility means that a child over 10 can be tried in court, it doesn't mean that this will be at full adult court, it will be youth court which is NOT a public court.
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Old 11-01-2011, 16:25
ladymoanalot
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Personally I think 10 seems reasonable.

I have heard of kids younger than ten doing errands for drug dealers, knowing that they can not be prosecuted being so young. I am not sure if this definitely happened though
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Old 11-01-2011, 16:36
snow.mountain
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Personally I think 10 seems reasonable.

I have heard of kids younger than ten doing errands for drug dealers, knowing that they can not be prosecuted being so young. I am not sure if this definitely happened though
But is it fair to criminalise the children for the adult drug dealers' crimes?
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Old 11-01-2011, 16:39
ladymoanalot
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But is it fair to criminalise the children for the adult drug dealers' crimes?
Im not sure that is what happens. I thought under 10 and no one was criminalised. I may be wrong though.
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Old 11-01-2011, 16:45
snow.mountain
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Im not sure that is what happens. I thought under 10 and no one was criminalised. I may be wrong though.
Yes, but if you raised the age to 14, it might protect 9 year olds from being roped in to drug-running ... the dealers could use 13 year olds instead.
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Old 11-01-2011, 16:49
ladymoanalot
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Yes, but if you raised the age to 14, it might protect 9 year olds from being roped in to drug-running ... the dealers could use 13 year olds instead.
Im not sure how that would benefit society? besides which it would give 13 year olds carte blanche to do what ever they want, as at 13 anyone is fully aware of what crime is imho.
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Old 11-01-2011, 16:51
Lincoln Hawk
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Raise it to 21, crime figures would plummet.
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Old 11-01-2011, 16:58
Turquoise
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I reckon the age of responsibility is OK as it is. Much older and too many people would slip through the net, too much younger and it'd be unfair.


The torture case, as wrong as it was, were the two older boys really aware that they were torturing the younger boys or just bullying/beating them? Bullying is wrong yes, but not criminal!
I'd say bullying often is criminal. If you were beaten up, harassed, stalked, sexually assualted or victimised because of your race/sexuality on the street or at work, you'd call it a crime, wouldn't you? I don't see how those things suddenly stop being crimes just because they're happening in the school.

I wish more young people knew that in severe cases of bullying, they can get the Police involved. If you've been physically assualted multiple times, you shouldn't have to settle for reporting it to your teacher and hoping they give a toss, and then just carrying on if they don't.
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Old 11-01-2011, 16:59
Fred Green
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Definitely should be raised to at least 14.

Most tragic children like Baby P don't die, they survive. At the moment, they've got till the age of 10 before the nation's pity will turn to national outrage when they commit awful crimes.
Agree fully with this.
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