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Last Updated: Tuesday September 26 2006 11:58 GMT

Should the criminal age for kids go up?

Police on duty

The age when a child can be responsible for a crime in England and Wales is 10 years old.

But a report says this is too young because lots of kids don't know what's right and what's wrong at that age.

Some people have said the age should go up to 14.

They think it's more important for young kids who commit crimes to get help and support, not a criminal record.

We want to know where YOU stand on the issue. E-mail us now!

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your comments

I think the criminal age should go up, as at the age of 10 children are only just becoming responsible for themselves. I think if they're committing a crime that young, something must be wrong at home, and the child should get help and support.
Fleur, 10, Bridgnorth

I disagree with it because children will keep on doing the things that got them into trouble because they know they won't get punished. And then they won't learn until they are older which is far too late.
Tina, 11, Walton

I think that the police and courts have to raise the age higher because they need to give children chances to finish their education.
Jessica, 13, London

Someone who is 10 years old is too young. They are still learning about right and wrong and are bound to make mistakes.
Rhona, 13, Liverpool

A 10-year-old knows perfectly well what she/he is doing so they should go to court just like anyone else. Also I think that parents should have to go to court as well for not bringing up their kids properly.
Stacey, 14, Basingstoke

I think people are taking the crime thing way too far. Also, knowing the difference between right and wrong won't prevent people from breaking the law.
Osnat, 10, London

All children should be taught what is right and wrong from when they are small. An eight-year-old should know what is good and bad.
Adele, 12, Preston

I think it should stay put because by that age you should know the difference between right and wrong, although I think they should just get fined or something because you would need to carry on with your education.
Hayley, 11, Northwick

I knew at the age of 10 what was right and what was wrong and they should know too!
Emily, 11, Warrington

No way! I was in complete control of my actions when I was 10 and if I did something wrong I would be responsible for it!
Joseph, 12, Stoke on Trent

I reckon it should be 16 before you can go to court. Yes, 10-year-olds know what's right and what's wrong but they can't handle things such as court.
Rachel, 11, Cockermouth

I think that 10-year-olds know what is right and what is wrong, I did when I was 10! But they should not be put in jail, instead they should get help and their parents should be spoken to as well.
Jessie, 12, Kent

I think if a child breaks the law they deserve a punishment no matter how old they are.
Harriet, 12, Chipping

I don't think it should go up! If anything it should go down, 10-year-olds should know the difference between right and wrong!
Naomi, 11, Manchester

Kids that are 10 and over should know what is right and what is wrong.
Jonathon, 9, Maiden Bower

I think it should go up to the age of 14.
Lee, 9, Gourock

No way, you know what you're doing if you break the law from the age of 10, so it's your own fault!
Northampton, 12, Northampton

No, I don't think the age should go up because some children will then be thinking they can get away with things!
Jaydie, 11, Pembrokeshire

I think that when you are 10-years-old and over you should know the difference between right from wrong.
Jessie, 10, Lewes

I don't think they should raise the age limit because a 10 year old can do just as much harm as a 14 year old.
Serina, 13, USA

I think the age should stay put for the moment and if kids are making trouble then the police could tell their parents and if they do it again then they should get something like an Asbo.
Emma, 11, Poole

I think it should stay the same because when I was 10 I knew not to commit a crime.
Ben, 11, Ramsgate

Kids by the age of 10 should know what's wrong and what's right. If they don't their parents didn't do their job.
Hannah, 14, USA

I think that it should stay put, otherwise they might start causing underage havoc!
Ellie, 10, Portsmouth

Absolutely not! By the time I'd reached 10, I was completely in control of my actions. They're just using it as a ludicrous excuse to get younger kids off the hook. But they need to learn early that if they commit a crime then they will be punished.
Lydia, 14, Worcestershire

I think it should be older because ONLY 10 YEARS OLD I MEAN COME ON!!!!! I do think though that if they do something they should be punished but not arrested!! and I don't think a 10-year-old will be doing much crime so big in the first he/she should be arrested.
Florrie, 11, Kirkbymoorside

It shouldn't be raised. 10-year-olds should know what they are doing. And if they don't know what a wrong act is then they need to be given help and guidance at an early age.
Dylan, 13, Lowestoft

No, I don't think it should go up. A 10-year-old can do as much harm as an adult can, can't they?!
Katy, 11, Ipswich

Kids from the age of 10 know what right and wrong is and people should not make excuses for the children that do commit crimes.
Rebecca, 14, Gravesend

Criminal ages for children should go up because children my age know what's write or wrong because we have sense.
Beci, 13, Swansea

I think a 10 year old should be just as responsible for crime as an adult, unless they were forced into doing it.
Ellie, 14, Spalding

No, it should stay 10 years old because the crime rates will rise and younger kids might start shoplifting and stuff because they can't be arrested.
Mahek, 14, Woking

10 yrs old - that is so young! When you are 10 I think you're still learning right from wrong!
Rosie, 10

We believe that the crime age should be raised to 14 because it should be the responsibility of parents to discipline their children. The parents should get three warnings and then a fine.
Class 7G1, 12, Newport

I think that the law should go up to 16 years old.
Max, 9, Barnstaple

I think it should go up but people under 10 should still get punished in some way!
Nathan, 12, Fareham

We are all nine and we all know right from wrong. Therefore, we believe that the age of criminal responsibility should go down to eight years of age.
Class 5F, 9, South Yorkshire

No, it's not too young to be arrested at 10 years old!
Travis, 12, Haywards Heath

I am well aware of what is crime at my age. If they were to raise the age to 14 then I think younger kids would be committing even bigger crimes.
James, 10, London

I think that by the time you are 11 and 12 you know what you are doing.
Jasmin, 12, Lincoln

No, I think it should be the same. Let it stay at 10.
Jamie, 14, Surrey

Yes because kids should be old enough to know the difference between right and wrong!
Reanne, 13, Grantham

I think kids should all be treated the same.
Emma, 12, Gloucester

No, because then more children under the age of 14 might be used by adults to shoplift or commit crime because know they cannot be prosecuted.
Georgina, 13, Narberth

Yes, as I think we all should be treated the same.
Matt, 12, Merseyside

I think that most 10-year-olds know the difference between right and wrong. The rules shouldn't be changed.
Jake, 11, Norfolk



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