A LIBERAL Democrat Lord has launched a parliamentary bid to increase the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12.
Lord Dholakia has introduced a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Lords which would change the minimum age at which a child can be arrested or charged with a crime.
The Bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility received its first reading – a formality which signals the start of its journey through the Lords – yesterday.
Lord Dholakia said: “It is wrong to criminalise children at such a young age.
“In England and Wales children are deemed to be criminally responsible from the age of 10. This involves arrest, detention and prosecution.
“The present arrangement has been criticised by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and is not compatible with the UK’s obligations under the international standards of juvenile justice.”
The Bill, which would alter the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, will now go forward to its second reading – a general debate on all aspects of the Bill.
Published and promoted by Tim Gordon on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, both at LDHQ, 8-10 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AE.