Parents of unruly children who vandalise property will be forced to
pay compensation to their child’s victims under measures in the
Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill which received its second
reading today in the House of Commons, writes Clare
|Blunkett: No criminal
Home secretary David Blunkett announced that the parents of
children under the age of 10-years-old who deliberately damage or
take property would be forced to pay up to £5,000 compensation
to the victims.
“My plan is to make the parents of young vandals
compensate their victims,” said Blunkett. “This will
not criminalise the child – no criminal sanctions are
involved – but will encourage young thugs and their parents
to learn that actions have consequences and appreciate the impact
According to the Home Office, the measure would plug a legal
loophole which currently allows parents to avoid liability for
deliberate damage if the child is under 10.
Blunkett also announced his intention to give police Community
Support officers powers to search for alcohol and tobacco and deal
with drug-related antisocial behaviour.
The home secretary said the measures would “make them even
more effective in tackling low-level crime and antisocial
behaviour, freeing up police officers to deal with more serious