A charity ‘Action for Scotland’ has commissioned a report that is urging the government to increase the age of criminal responsibility from 8 to 16. It has also asked to establish a youth justice system for criminals up to the age of 21.
The report also criticised that in some cases people who committed offences in childhood had to disclose this until their 40s, even if they had never been in trouble after. The report was published after the death of a 16 year old who committed suicide in HMP Polmont while on remand. However the Scottish government, have plans to raise the age of criminal responsibly to 12, however the report calls on them to be more radical.
A Scottish government spokeswoman added: “Raising the age of criminal responsibility to 12 is the right reform for Scotland at this time, and will mean that we are leading the way in the UK, ensuring no child under 12 will be treated as a criminal or accrue a criminal record.” However, at the present time a child under the age of 12 is unlikely to have a criminal record. The report is looking at the wider impact the current system has on older children and how this affects them in the future with the stigmatisation of having a criminal record and the impact this can have on young people.