The age of criminal responsibility should be raised to ensure fewer young people become serial offenders, the ex-head of the Youth Justice Board says.Well, I guess that’s one way of bringing the crime figures down. Perhaps we should only classify burglaries as such if they are committed by a man in a stripy jumper and black mask with a bag marked ‘swag’ slung over his back?
Rod Morgan said placing youths in foster care or boarding schools could be more effective than locking them up.I suppose it depends on what you mean by ‘effective’, Rod...
Wat Tyler has more on the background of this barking loon, and Ross unzips his theories on Finland.
There are currently about 3,000 young people in custody in England and Wales.Yeah, when you look at those figures, they don’t add up so well, do they?
Professor Morgan said the number had doubled in recent years and added that keeping one youth in a secure home cost the taxpayer £200,000 a year.
He added that the system in place in Finland - where the age of criminal responsibility was 15, just three young people were in custody and there was more focus on psychology and rehabilitation - should be studied.
But Rod’s on a roll:
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme such methods were "working", adding: "The sad thing about this country is we are moving in the opposite direction."Maybe that’s got more to do with the increase in the number of young criminals, rather than an increase in the desire of the public to lock people up?
Prof Morgan said that since the early 1990s "we have become more punitive. We are locking up twice as many young people and children as 10 to 15 years ago and we are criminalising many more of them.
Just a thought…
Former Home Secretary Michael Howard wasn’t keen:
He said of the age of criminal responsibility: "It's been 10 for a while and I think that's quite reasonable.Precisely. Thus adding, and adding, and adding to the crime figures…
"I think it's a mistake to suppose that young offenders are sent to adult prisons, where hardened adult prisoners are held. These cases are dealt with by magistrates who sit in the juvenile court.
"Before a case gets to court in the normal course of events he's likely to be reprimanded first by the police and warned and then goes before the courts."
Custody was used "only when everything else has been tried", he added.
Still, the only authority the sandal-wearing, muesli-chomping lefties like Rod still bow to is in favour:
In a report last year, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended raising the age of criminal responsibility in England, Scotland and Wales.Hmm, if the UN is so concerned for the ‘rights of the child’, perhaps they’d better put their own house in order first…