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Juvenile Offenders

Volume 884: debated on Friday 24 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to amend the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 to allow for the punishment, as opposed to the treatment, of juvenile offenders; and if he will make a statement.

I announced in the debate on juvenile offending on 9th December that my right hon. Friend and his colleagues are studying the operation of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children under 17 years of age were convicted of offences by Rochdale courts in 1972, 1973 and 1974, respectively; and if he will categorise the crimes involved.

The total numbers of persons under the age of 17 who were found guilty in Rochdale of indictable offences in 1972 and 1973 were as follows:

Rochdale County Borough224266
Rochdale County Division3250
Information for 1974 is not yet available. The cost of providing information relating to non-indictable offences and of analysing the figures by offence group would be disproportionate.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers the magistrates have for enforcing the payment of fines imposed on juvenile offenders and if he will make a statement on this matter.

When a court imposes a fine on a juvenile it may order the parent or guardian to pay unless it is satisfied that the parent or guardian cannot be found, or that he did not conduce to the commission of the offence by neglecting to exercise due care and control. The fine may be enforced against the parent or guardian as if he had been convicted of the offence. In the absence of such an order, the fine can be enforced against the juvenile who has means or is in employment, through attachment of earnings or a warrant of distress. The fine remains enforceable by all available methods, including committal to prison in default, when the offender reaches the age of 17. There is no provision for the enforcement of a fine against someone under 17 by way of committal to a custodial institution.We are considering the question of enforcement among other points arising from the working of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969.