Young Children and Crime
What could be the youngest shoplifter of all times was caught, along with two young accomplices, stealing from Boots in Wallington, south London. The other two children were 10 years of age. The three children were witnessed stuffing items into bags. While the three children were accompanied by two adults, no one was prosecuted for this incident.
The ages of these children are alarming. Introducing children to a life of crime and criminal actions could result in a misinterpretation of right and wrong, the law, and consequences for wrongdoing. The problem is that because these children are so young, there is very little police can do
Children under the age of 10 cannot be held criminally responsible for their actions, but law officials can hold the youngsters accountable by other means. The children could be sentenced to a curfew. Repeated criminal offenses can result in placing the child in the care of local authority.
The rise in crime amongst young children has raised concern and the need for a response. It is believed that children must be taught what a criminal offense and what could occur as a result of partaking in such an offense at the school-aged level. As for children younger than school-aged, there is little that can be done.