Raise the Age of Criminal Responsibility as 1000 young people are handed criminal records – Dr Paula Rodgers

Include Youth spokesperson on youth justice, Dr Paula Rodgers, has stated that today’s report showing that over 1000 children have been given criminal records over the past 5 years is extremely concerning and is further evidence of the need to raise the age of criminal responsibility. 

 Speaking today Dr Rodgers said:

“Include Youth are concerned about the number of children who are bring convicted of crimes, especially those who are as young as 12, 13 and 14 years of age. 

“It is entirely unacceptable that children who have just left primary education are being burdened with criminal records. 

“We have repeatedly called for the age of criminal responsibility to be increased from 10 years of age to 14 years.

“This is an issue that has been kept on the agenda by the Raise the Age Campaign spearheaded by Include Youth. 

“Further to this  numerous calls have been made by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for it to be increased. We, as a society, can no longer ignore the body of evidence and the call from professionals and those who work with children to raise the age of criminal responsibility.

“Alternatives to criminalising children and  address behaviour with better outcomes for children, families and communities exist and focus and energy must be placed on those methods as a matter of urgency.”