The home secretary is to investigate ways of strengthening powers
to “restrain and deal with violent and antisocial young children”,
he announced this week.
Speaking at a national criminal justice conference in London, David
Blunkett said that, although he had no intention of lowering the
age of criminal responsibility, “children do understand rules and
can and should understand the consequences of breaking them”.
He said:”I am determined to ensure that children under the age of
10 do not get away with running riot in our communities, causing
havoc, creating fear and getting away with it.”
Measures including plans to pilot a US-style one-stop
“crime-busting shop” community justice centre would be introduced.
Based in communities, it would take a multi-agency approach to
dealing with minor offences and give out sentences geared towards
local crime priorities such as clearing graffiti.
“I want ordinary people to feel they are involved in beating
crime,” Blunkett said.