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Should parents be punished for their adolescent children's crimes?


Dame_Enda

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Dec 14, 2011
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52,042
A few nights ago there was a breakin on my estate and I was asked to provide CCTV recordings (I have 3 cameras) to help the Gardai find out who did it. My camera being intended primarily to protect me could still see someone at the foot of the outside stairs, and the pattern seems familiar to my own past run-ins with anti-social behaviour - namely that it tends to be male teenagers doing it. While going through the CCTV with a Garda I raised my experiences from years ago and mentioned that back then the Gardai did nothing other than talk to the parents. He pointed out that they couldn't charge children and the courts would not convict them. I then asked him about the ASBO (anti social behaviour order) idea from a couple of years ago, which would have allowed curfews to be imposed on them. He said the ASBO is not properly codified into legislation so they can't do that either.

If the children can't/won't be taken to task by the State, then what about the parents? Should parents of at least persistant anti-social behaviour offenders be sanctioned in some way by the State - both as a deterrent to the child and also to force them to live up to their responsibilities as parents to stop their children from menacing society while living under their roof?

Personally I favour fines/prison for such parents if they are willfully negligent in their duties to prevent such behaviour.
 

Ren84

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Jan 14, 2011
Messages
50,016
Only if parents deliberately do nothing to rein in their sprogs. Some parents do make an honest effort with their wayward kids. But sometimes the delinquents can be too much for the mother, who is usually on her own, with father often out of the picture altogether.
 
R

Ramps

It's a difficult one. For e.g., were you to imprison parents, who'd look after the little punk?

I don't know if it's right to punish a parent for the crimes of his or her kids, although it is very frustrating to deal with parents who don't give a **** about what their kids are up to.

It depends on the circumstances, I suppose.
 

pippakin

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Feb 22, 2010
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9,665
Depends on the crime but if a young scrote has been caught playing up previously and he and his parents have been warned then yes the parents should be charged.
 

Alan Alda

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Jun 23, 2011
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5,504
No.Laws exist already to deal with adolescent 'criminals'. Laws also exist to deal with seriously neglectful parents. Just use present legislation if real offences are being committed.
What was the 'crime' in this case ?
Someone kick a ball into your garden ?
 

southwestkerry

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Aug 20, 2008
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4,230
Some parents [if they can be called that] deserve to have their children taken away from them full stop. The amount of could not care less ammon said parents is breathtaking. As well as that some Moms and Dads install no sense of civic pride in their kids instead telling them is question authority and behave like arrogant prats.
Swk
 

Dame_Enda

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Messages
52,042
No.Laws exist already to deal with adolescent 'criminals'. Laws also exist to deal with seriously neglectful parents. Just use present legislation if real offences are being committed.
What was the 'crime' in this case ?
Someone kick a ball into your garden ?
Well if you mean a few days ago there was a breakin in the flat upstairs from mine.

In my personal case it was a 3 yr campaign of vandalism by children out at all hours of the night, to which the Gardai would only talk to the parents. My neighbours keeping a lookout eventually put a stop to it but then I got CCTV and break proof glass (my late father insisted on doing on and paying for when I could not).

As for "present legislation" it is next to useless. The Children's Act 2001 says that prison cannot be imposed on someone aged under 12 yrs of age, while for 16-17 yr olds, the court can only do so if it is satisfied this is the "only" suitable option available. In practice this means juveniles do not get custodial sentences unless they commit the most serious offences like murder or rape.

Citizensinformation.ie said:
Age of criminal responsibility
The age of criminal responsibility is covered by Section 52 of the Children Act 2001 as amended by Section 129 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 (pdf). This came into effect in October 2006, raising the age of criminal responsibility from 7 years of age to 12 years of age. This means that children who have not reached the age of 12 years cannot be charged with an offence. There is an exception, however, for children aged 10 or 11 who can be charged with murder, manslaughter, rape or aggravated sexual assault. In addition, where a child under 14 years of age is charged with an offence, no further proceedings can be taken without the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Although the 2001 Act in general prohibits children under 12 years of age from being charged and convicted of a criminal offence, they do not enjoy total immunity from action being taken against them. Section 53 of the Act as amended by Section 130 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 places an onus on the Gardai to take a child under 12 years of age to his/her parents or guardian., where they have reasonable grounds for believing that the child has committed an offence with which the child cannot be charged due to the child’s age. Where this is not possible the Gardai will arrange for the child to be taken into the custody of the Health Service Executive (HSE) for the area in which the child normally resides. It is possible that children under 12 years of age who commit criminal offences will be dealt with by the HSE and not the criminal justice system.

Detention of a child
Under Section 142 of the Children Act 2001, a court may impose a period of detention on a child. Where the child is under 16 years of age the child is detained in a children detention school. Children aged 16 and 17 are detained in children detention centres. However, the court can only impose a detention order where it is satisfied that it is the only suitable way to deal with the child and, for a child under 16 years of age, a place in a children detention school is available. There is more information on detention of children and young people here.
 
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