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The Forum > General Discussion > The age of criminal responsibility

The age of criminal responsibility

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In the news recently I heard the current age for criminal responsibility could be moved to 16 years of age.

Tell me that is not a free get out of prison card for the young. Right now kids openly use their age to say to the police, you can not touch me

Who comes up with these ideas?
Posted by Belly, Thursday, 6 December 2018 6:29:38 AM
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Sorry that storey is on nine news web page
I am not calling for boot camps or harsh punishment
But surely walk out of court every time every crime is insane
Education should be the whole reason we detain criminal kids not to punish them
We need not do every thing as it always has been done
A Better way maybe setting up a group of ordinary people to monitor those detained.
And to stop leaders within detention leading by poor examples they should be separated.
Crimes .wrong behaviors committed in the detention centers should see time, even if it is only another month imposed
Posted by Belly, Thursday, 6 December 2018 10:18:44 AM
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Too many kids stealing the car keys and putting other peoples lives in danger, Belly.
You can't educate them if they don't give a crap in the first place.
Posted by Armchair Critic, Thursday, 6 December 2018 12:24:13 PM
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//In the news recently I heard the current age for criminal responsibility could be moved to 16 years of age.//

Yeah, that seems unlikely.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_criminal_responsibility_in_Australia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_infancy
Posted by Toni Lavis, Thursday, 6 December 2018 12:54:07 PM
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As a matter of interest, when I joined the job, the age for criminal capacity was 7 years, raised by statute to 8 years. Thereafter, the age of criminal capacity has slowly increased, in fact when I retired, it had been increased to 10 years.

The age of criminal capacity has been examined, and discussed ad nauseam, in the UK as a consequence of the murder and torture of five year old James BOLGAR. One of the offenders was aged 8 or 9, whereas the other was 10 years. The DCI who was OIC of the matter, declared on TV, after nearly 40 years of experience, investigating homicides, in his opinion, the younger of the two offenders, was the manifestation of sheer evil. Capable of committing any act of arrant violence.
Posted by o sung wu, Thursday, 6 December 2018 1:55:57 PM
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Dear Belly,

I read on the web that anyone 13 years old and above
can be tried as an adult if they have a record of
previously breaking the law or commit a serious
crime and that minors who are 15 or 16 are automatically
tried as adults for certain offences including murder,
aggravated criminal and sexual assault and armed robbery
with a firearm.

Whether that applies in Australia I'm not sure. But it
makes sense that it should. I think that all these
factors need to be taken into account when sentencing
someone.
Posted by Foxy, Thursday, 6 December 2018 2:31:03 PM
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Who comes up with these ideas?
Belly,
Leftist academic background bureaucrats.
Posted by individual, Thursday, 6 December 2018 2:40:25 PM
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Individual,

So you think that the current government who has the capacity
to enact appropriate legislation
are a bunch of Leftist academic bureaucrats?
Really?
Posted by Foxy, Thursday, 6 December 2018 3:07:27 PM
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Indy blindness is not an asset, this thread came about because it is in the news moves are being made to raise the age to 16
O sung wo will know, some kids are ferrel, eight years olds in country villages smashing car windows and heaps more
ARMcHAIR critic, yes no defense BUT while in the detention center, they may even learn to read and write, many can not
Again we do not have to live in the past lock them up make sure they get every chance to learn,even get them if old enough a job
But look at one of a thousand such stories in the one I highlighted
9 year old kid holding a community in fear, can not touch him and he has a very long list of offenses.
INDIVIDUAL if as you claim constantly every problem is born in the left why do they continue to win elections? EG Victorian election and south African gangs, reality must be considered
Posted by Belly, Thursday, 6 December 2018 3:55:41 PM
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Dear o sung wu,

Presence duly noted.
Posted by SteeleRedux, Thursday, 6 December 2018 5:09:47 PM
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To me the problem is accountability, if you go to University and the Gov'T pays you have a debt for life till it is paid off.

Now if a similar scheme was to apply to crimes, any criminal damage a person causes the cost of that damage is now to be repaid even if only at a low rate because the person is on welfare.

If a crime is committed by a group the debt is divided and each has to pay, if for example only part of the group are caught the total cost is divided by the number caught unless they say who the others were.

Simple fact is some people cause hundreds of thousands in criminal damage and the insurance ends up paying or the shop owner if no insurance was taken out. They often end up getting a light sentence.

You do the criminal damage you pay the price no matter how long it takes.

I believe this would make a lot rethink about what they do.

This applies to any age say above 5, they know they are doing something wrong.
Posted by Philip S, Thursday, 6 December 2018 5:27:11 PM
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Hi Philip,

Yes, I've thought much the same for many years. Some idiot starts a fire (heh ! heh !) and causes a million dollars damage - no problem, simply set all debts against his finances until they're all paid off, plus interest.

In Adelaide, the government is building highways on overpasses to prevent idiots from throwing rocks onto passing traffic - that seems to be a favourite pastime in some parts of Adelaide. So exciting ! Hey, watch that car veer all over the road ! Heh, heh !

But the idiot-criminal class is endlessly inventive - smash a telephone box ? Great fun ! Crap up a bus-stop shelter ? Wow, who thought that up ? Beat up penguins in a sanctuary ? What larks ! Graffiti, for the illiterate ? No, it's art. Well no, it's vandalism.

If any government wanted to DROP the age of criminality by a year or two, I'd serious think about supporting it.

Cheers,

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Thursday, 6 December 2018 5:45:21 PM
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Hi there STEELEREDUX...

Merely as a visitor Steele, as this issue of 'criminal capacity' has always engendered much discussion, within my former organisation. Good speaking with you.
Posted by o sung wu, Thursday, 6 December 2018 6:53:22 PM
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Hi Belly,
I think a lot of kids are dysfunctional on account of their upbringings in today's society.

A lot of struggling single mums, and not enough fathers.

No disciple (it's not permitted anymore) no boundaries or responsibilities.

You know what I think?
In the same way they're turning kids gay at one end of the spectrum, they're turning them into dysfunctional little criminals at the other.

There getting more time to be emboldened by getting a free pass being bad.

And these young boys by 11yo - they're done. They think they can pick a fight with the whole entire world and win. It doesn't matter where you put them or where you send them they will seek out more dysfunction.

And how many criminal adults will employ 15year olds to do their crimes?
You've always got to check the fine print.
Posted by Armchair Critic, Thursday, 6 December 2018 7:40:50 PM
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Armchair Critic again no defense, you have it right
But I am not calling for mandatory lock up
A 16 year old, ten for that matter, may murder someone, commit an armed hold up
May in fact have already had ten get out of gaol passes
Some of our very worst criminals started before that age
Tend to think in this ice blackened world many kids fall after parents fail
Making detention a place for education, isolating the self promoting leaders can be a positive thing
Posted by Belly, Friday, 7 December 2018 4:46:24 AM
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Some children can be held criminally responsible at the age of 14, some adults can't be held criminally responsible at the age of 40. Armchair Critic has a valid point;

//I think a lot of kids are dysfunctional on account of their upbringings in today's society.//

That is not new, it has been the case in the past as well. In a perfect society we would have no failures, no criminals, everyone would be socially responsible and good citizens. Unfortunately our society is not perfect and we have our failures, criminality is a manifestation of that failure. How to deal with the failures is all important, for some its the big stick approach, lock em' up, throw away the key. Unless the problems of society are delt with constructively all that throw away the key nonsense achieves is jails full of criminals.

All children deserve the best of opportunity in life, and when you have a young offender with a well established criminal record, there is a real problem and it needs to be constructively addressed. The aim should always be to reform, and not criminalise the young person to the point where they are going to be a social misfit, and a problem, for the rest of their life. Not easy but it can be done.
Posted by Paul1405, Friday, 7 December 2018 7:41:24 AM
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Hope you are well O Sung Wu.
Posted by Canem Malum, Friday, 7 December 2018 7:59:16 AM
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Hi Pauol,

I certainly don't support a lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key, one-size-fits-all policy. Of course there would be many Indigenous children now with FAS who have no concept of the consequences of their actions - they need far more than simple incarceration, perhaps special hostels for long-term care. Of course, they are a danger to themselves as well as to others.

I wonder what the early death-rate is amongst FAS kids, from car accidents, suicide, beaten to death, drowning, etc., and the damage bill from their actions and their harm to others.

But surely attention should be focussed - as well - on prevention ? Why are many kids born with FAS ? Because their mothers are boozing while pregnant. That seems to be the major cause of FAS. So how to stop/encourage Indigenous women from drinking while pregnant ? Threats to their benefits ? Alternatively, special non-financial benefits, help with rent and more active pre-natal clinics and more (paid) pre-natal courses ? Free baby food. Trips to Bali for Best Mother of the Year. Whatever works, of course.

Certainly, bonds and bail don't seem to work: if some dumb kid gets off the first time, what are the chances that he will offend again, believing (probably quite rightly) that he can escape punishment yet again ? Does being let off the first time chasten a kid, or does it embolden him/her to commit more, perhaps more serious, offences ? Well, duh.

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Friday, 7 December 2018 8:41:24 AM
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Many thanks CANEM MALUM, I appreciate your most kind sentiments.
Posted by o sung wu, Friday, 7 December 2018 9:11:06 AM
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Loudmouth again quite right, remember the thread started with a move to make the age 16
Never called for punishment while in detention but yes a chance to learn
Some juveniles want to be in the spotlight, not rewarding them by giving them an audience while in detention seems best
Nothing of the current system need be retained, we can do far better
Many young Aboriginals think of time served as a holiday , away from the very thing that bought them there
Posted by Belly, Friday, 7 December 2018 1:33:26 PM
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These little thugs know they are doing the wrong thing, but age lets them off.

Terrified residents are forced to move out of their crime-riddled suburb to escape knife-wielding children as young as FIVE who are smashing windows, vandalising homes and cars and attacking locals in the streets

Residents of a Perth suburb have told how they are living in fear and have no option but to move out of their homes as children as young as five run riot.

Children in Ellenbrook, in the city's north-east, have vandalised dozens of homes and vehicles, stole electrical items and made death threats, residents say.

As the violence escalated, a nine-year-old boy was taken by police on Thursday and put into an unmarked car by his grandmother before he was driven away.

'People are ready to take law into their own hands because people are petrified of him, we've gone to police, we're asking police for help but when he gets returned home sometimes three times a night, he goes back out and does it again,' one resident told 9 News.

The nine-year-old, who is too young to be charged, is not the only youth alleged to be running amok in the suburb.

Residents say up to a dozen children living at two homes are also responsible for vandalism, burglaries and death threats in the area.

Other residents have said they plan to move out of the area.

One mother, who did not want to be named, said months of threats, break-in attempts and vandalism forced her to move into a rental home while continuing to pay her mortgage.

'I caught them on a fence with knives and as soon as I stopped rolling the camera, they said they were going to kill me,' Amanda told 7 News.

The nine-year-old boy is too young to face charges but Western Australia Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said police were working closely with other agencies and his family to manage the situation.

Whole story
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6471569/Residents-forced-crime-riddled-suburb-children-young-FIVE-run-riot.html
Posted by Philip S, Saturday, 8 December 2018 2:34:19 AM
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Not sure they can be held to account because the law has loopholes
Not sure the law acts in the best interests of the kid, the victim, or the community by putting the age up to 16
Again yes some kids are victims of bad parenting, some parents are victims of just plain bad kids
I propose detention not be boot camp like, but re education with a target of stopping poor behavior
Leaving things as they are seems not an option, increasing the age of accountability seems mad
Posted by Belly, Saturday, 8 December 2018 4:57:24 AM
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Hi Belly,

//Not sure the law acts in the best interests of the kid, the victim, or the community//

Every time a child comes before the courts that is an admission of failure. Somehow that child has been failed by society. Bad parents, far too many of them, but in many cases those parents are failures themselves. "Responsibility" is a good word, no one seems interested in, or capable of, taking responsibility for delinquent children. As a last resort responsibility is left in the hands of the State through the police, judicial and child welfare systems. Certainly not ideal, with the vicious circle of crime and punishment, being repeated over and over until the child becomes an adult and enters the adult world of crime and punishment.
Posted by Paul1405, Saturday, 8 December 2018 4:17:34 PM
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are a bunch of Leftist academic bureaucrats?
Foxy,
No, but I'm not talking about them, I'm referring to those who caused this situation over the past 40 years & now as always, a conservative Govt is being blamed for not being able to sort out that mess with so much sabotage from the whole of the Left.
Posted by individual, Saturday, 8 December 2018 5:46:47 PM
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Paul not a lot not to agree with there BUT
Personal experence has shown me, with all those things against the kids,doing nothing will not work
Sure you know such kids too, they some times think detention is a holiday
Or a chance to learn the trade
I can never join the cuddle a convict crowd
My view remains we can do much better
Should do much better
And education, along with seperation from the bad company we know exists, in detention too, is a start
Posted by Belly, Saturday, 8 December 2018 6:20:46 PM
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Hi Belly,

I agree, //I can never join the cuddle a convict crowd//. Sometimes people confuse those wanting to prevent and improve a one way hard line penal system with what you say. I believe, you do the crime you do the time, What I favour is an emphasis on prevention, rather than punishment. Given the knocks old lags have taken in life, very little chance of reform through the system, many of these people are doomed to be societies failures. Successful reform is not new, Governor Macquarie was successful with convict reform in the early 1800's, like today, his reforms had its detractors as well. Where we do have the best chance of prevention today is with young people, and magistrates recognise that.

WW a magistrate in Sydney, now retired, told me some years back of his disappointment with the system and its failures, he spoke of the consternation and frustration he often felt when dealing with habitual young offenders.
Posted by Paul1405, Sunday, 9 December 2018 10:29:24 AM
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Paul yes agree, some would hide the fact but you can not come from a family as big as mine and not know some of the failures
Even see some think being confined is something to be proud of
My true FEAR is some truly think 16 should be the age of responsibility
Others are content to brand every offender a thug
Not understanding, on both sides is not helping
Those calling for national service in my view wrongly, should consider education while in confinement at least is better
Posted by Belly, Sunday, 9 December 2018 1:23:00 PM
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Indy, are you still blaming Gough for all the perceived woes in the world. Take a look at that bunch of self serving, useless fools in Canberra. The Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison circus is the worse government in living memory. I suppose you will be trying to vote them back in.
Posted by Paul1405, Sunday, 9 December 2018 3:08:44 PM
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"My view remains we can do much better"

Of course we can Belly, but first we have to go back to doing things based on merit.
- And then we use this system of merit to look at all the Pro's and Con's of every single issue.

And it's only then - when we look at all the Pro's and Con's of every single issue, separating all the arguments that do hold merit from the arguments that don't hold merit, and for each issue we devise a foolproof plan.

Based on merit.

- And No we can't give up on these kids;
(but they do need to learn there are consequences for their actions)
- Even though we're already convinced they're a total write-off and we know that they continue to harm others
- Because the second they feel like society has given up on them entirely then they really have no reason at all to care about their actions anymore either.
Posted by Armchair Critic, Sunday, 9 December 2018 6:23:02 PM
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ArmChair Critic that could have been my post agree with every word
If fact in NSW at least the thought the age should be 16, in my view abandons both the kids and their victims
Early intervention, not with eyes only on punishment must be considered
Yes some can not be helped
That should not stop us trying
Parents sometimes, are the problem not the kids
Frothing at the mouth rage will not fix it
Just maybe removing the bad company and replacing it with leadership and education can.
Indy, give some thought to your bias, if as you think events in 1972 till 1975 still hold this country back we are a poor section of humanity, for not fixing it
Posted by Belly, Monday, 10 December 2018 4:53:35 AM
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