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Sunday, September 20, 2009

 

Two, 3-year-old boys are youngest criminal suspects

Two three-year-old boys investigated for vandalism become youngest criminal suspects in British history

 

Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:01 PM on 20th September 2009 

Two boys aged three have become the youngest suspects in British criminal history.

They were questioned by police, in separate cases, after complaints of vandalism.

The two are among ten children under six who have been subject to investigations for crimes including sexual offences and criminal damage.

The figures, from officials in Scotland, include a five-year-old boy cautioned for lewd behaviour.

 

It has emerged two three-year-olds have been investigated by police for vandalism in Scotland (picture posed by models)

It has emerged two three-year-olds have been investigated by police for vandalism in Scotland (picture posed by models)

There were allegations against two five-year-old girls while a four-year-old boy was also accused of vandalism.

Dr Cynthia McVeigh, head of psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University, said their actions could be a result of learned behaviour.

'Sometimes it is a case that they themselves have been abused or have witnessed crimes being committed,' she said.

Scottish Labour spokesman Richard Baker said: 'Questions have to be asked about the family situations of those children.'

In Glasgow, an 11-year-old migrant from Eastern Europe has been accused of raping and robbing a 14-year-old girl earlier this month.

The youngest offender in England and Wales was a six-year-old arrested in Bedfordshire on suspicion of robbery in June.

The children are below the age of criminal responsibility and cannot be prosecuted or held in custody.

In Scotland the age is 8, which is the lowest in Europe and in England and Wales it is 10.

 

Richard Baker, Scottish Labour's justice spokesman said: 'Questions have to be asked about the family situations of those children.'

And Bill Aitken, Scottish Conservatives justice spokesman added: 'It is deeply depressing that children of these tender years are committing serious offences. These children may be at risk.'

Dr Cynthia McVeigh, head of psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University said the children's actions could be as a result of learned behaviour.

'When you get children acting like this sometimes it is a case that they themselves have been abused or have witnessed crimes being committed,' she said.

'Children who commit crimes have learned or witnessed it and it can sometimes mean they are not being monitored by their parents.'

 

Disclosures under Freedom of Information laws have brought attention to the thousands of children committing offences every year.

Figures obtained by the Sunday Times this month revealed more than 6,000 offences have been committed by children under 10 over the past three years, including nine-year-olds accused of rape and eight year-olds believed to have caused grevious bodliy harm.

Other alleged crimes include possession of knives, assaults, burglaries and theft.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1214816/Boy-3-investigated-vandalism-UKs-youngest-crime-suspect.html#ixzz0RgfkfEYq


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