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Juvenile Crime (Merseyside)

Volume 974: debated on Monday 26 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the fact that 561 children below the age of 10 years were involved in offences by the Merseyside police in 1978 and that 284 were involved in similar offences in the first nine months of 1979, if he will consider introducing legislation to place some responsibility on the parents of children involved in criminal activities.

The law already places some responsibility on parents. If a child under the age of 10 commits acts which in the case of an older child would be an offence, there may be grounds for bringing him or her before the juvenile court as in need of care and control, and the court then has power to bind the parent to take proper care of and exercise proper control over the child. In some circumstances a parent may also be held responsible in civil law for damage or harm done by his children.