§ 10. Mr. Nicholls
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on proposals to make parents more accountable for the behaviour of their children.
§ Mr. Jack
The Criminal Justice Act 1991 significantly strengthens courts' powers to involve parents when their children offend. These provisions will come into force on 1 October 1992.
§ Mr. Nicholls
Does my hon. Friend agree that when a person offends, responsibility for that offending lies not with the Government or society but with the criminal? Is it not entirely right that parents should be responsible for their children's misdeeds? Will my hon. Friend assure the House that the proposals set out in the Criminal Justice Act will ensure that parents are far more aware of their children's misdeeds?
§ Mr. Jack
I am most grateful to my hon. Friend for his question, which highlights one of the most important parts of the Criminal Justice Act. The courts will have powers to order parents to come into court both to support their children at that time and to listen to and learn of some of their misdemeanours. They will ultimately be subjected to the courts' power of binding over, which means that they will be fully involved in ensuring that their children do not recommit offences.