NAYJ’s Letter to Guardian published 10th August 2011

Posted by NAYJ on Aug 11, 2012

Dear Sir,
At a time when there is concern that not enough suitable candidates are coming forward to stand as Police and Crime Commissioners, it is sad to see two candidates excluded because of childhood misbehaviour. (£5 fine in 1966 bars police commissioner candidate, page 15. 09.08.12). The current legislation governing children and young people who commit crime places great emphasis on prevention of re-offending. What incentive is there for a child or young person to stay out of further trouble, if they know that one minor offence will follow them and affect their prospects for the rest of their lives? There are a very small number of children and young people who commit serious offences and who may need continued monitoring; but for the majority it is counter productive to allow childhood misbehaviour to haunt them for the rest of their lives - the law should be amended as soon as possible to give a 'clean slate' at age 18 for all but the most serious offences.
Pam Hibbert, OBE
Chair, National Association for Youth Justice (charity No.1138117)