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Young offenders and public safety
Mar 24, 2004 21:08 ETBack | Print Article
 Guest Name:MarlysEmail:  
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The young offenders act or whatever the new name is, cannot charge a child under 12. This concerns me as some children are becoming more violent at an earlier age. Since a child under the age of 12 cannot be charged with a crime, can the police do anything to protect the public from young miscreats? For example, if a 10 year old seriously beats up another child or kept breaking into houses and stealing things, could anything be done? When I read about that case in England a few years ago where a child murdered another child and also about a 10 year old in B.C. who kept stealing cars. I also read in the Toronto star recently about this "psyhopath" who set other kids on fire on purpose when he was only 5 years old and killed somone's cat when he was young. There's got to be something that is done. I believe the federal government needs to change the laws and lower the age at which children can be charged. I once saw a group of kids between 9 and 13 swarm the middle age man driving the ice cream bicycle. They kept trying to take the ice cream and blocked his path so he couldn't leave and ride his cart away. I would of phoned the police but they finally let him go. But in the meantime, what does the province do to protect society from these kids under 12?

Editor's Note: Children under 12 years of age are deemed to be held not criminally responsible, meaning they can't be brought into the formal court process.

Children under 12 who commit criminal offences fall under the Child and Family Services Act. Police assist in the process of rehabilitation of these children through intervention, finding root causes and using resources such as parents, CAS and local community services to curb the problem behaviour before it escalates.