Minimum age of criminal responsibility: consultation analysis

Analysis of consultation responses and engagement with children and young people on raising age of criminal responsibility.

Scottish Youth Parliament/Action For Children Workshop 23 July

Capturing young people’s discussions

Images: Capturing young people's discussions by Graham Ogilvie

Note: Young people felt that 8 ('primary age kids') was too young to discern right and wrong, or to consciously 'break the law'. It was 'unfair' for children to accrue a record that young. They felt that 12 year olds had more experience, knowledge and personal responsibility.

Capturing young people’s discussions

Note: Delegates were unhappy about ongoing negative media coverage of young people and their behaviour, given that children's offence referrals have fallen sharply. See the Daily Mail's 'Feral youth army fuels crimewave' story on 8 August - SCRA 2014-15 figures show the number of children referred for offending was 2,761; in 2007-08, that number was 14,209.

Capturing young people’s discussions

Note: Young people felt that being trusted, valued and respected by police and other authorities - and being given 'a chance' - was powerful and effective in promoting better behaviour.

Capturing young people’s discussions

Note: Making children 'criminals' was costly to the taxpayer and damaging to the young people. Delegates felt that young people could be rehabilitated, learn from their mistakes and move to positive citizenship - if not dogged by a childhood record.

Capturing young people’s discussions

Note: Scotland as 'the best place to grow up' involved believing and investing in children, helping them to deal with, and then to get over, mistakes on the way to becoming productive adults. Delegates thought that the Advisory Group's proposed safeguards dealt well with the 'most serious cases'' challenges for risk management and public protection.


Back to top