Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Law & Order : Northern Constabulary ask for curfew powers over anti social youths

As Police across the country struggle to contain anti social youths and criminals, Northern Constabulary, who are in charge of policing in the Highlands & Islands, have requested powers to impose curfews on youths who often repeatedly commit crime & other anti social acts. (The way things are going in Scotland, these powers should be extended to all the regional Police forces – Ed)

The Herald reports :

Police ask for power to impose curfews on youngsters

Police ask for power to impose curfews on youngsters

DAVID ROSS, Highland Correspondent
April 08 2009

A Scottish police force has asked ministers to give it the power to impose a curfew on juveniles who repeatedly commit crime or behave in an anti-social manner.

It would mean extending curfew orders, which are already routinely applied to adult criminals, to known individual offenders under the age of 16. The approach has been made by Northern Constabulary to the Scottish Government against the backdrop of rising youth crime in Inverness.

It would be the first such scheme in Scotland, but police feel it would provide the necessary warning to a small number of parents that their children are in serious need of help.

Youth offending in Inverness has risen by 15% since 2006, against the national trend. According to local reports, young people aged 17 and under have been charged with almost 4500 crimes in the last three years.

A three-year-old was recently reported for allegedly vandalising a car. Meanwhile, the youngest sexual offender in the city in the last three years was a nine-year-old boy who exposed himself to a classmate before molesting her.

Northern Constabulary's head of operations, Chief Superintendent Bruce Duncan, said: "The increasing trend in relation to youth crime has been closely monitored by Northern Constabulary. Despite this increase, Northern Constabulary still has the lowest levels of crime in Scotland and detects the highest number of reported crimes.

"It is acknowledged that a small number of youths are often responsible for a disproportionate volume of crime. We have put forward a suggestion that curfew orders similar to those used successfully for adults should be introduced in relation to habitual offenders under the age of 16.

"These curfews would also place more accountability on the parents of offenders."

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