§ Mr. David Steel
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will seek to amend the Criminal Procedures (Scotland) Act 1975 to provide for the same scope of sentence for young offenders as applies to adults.
§ Mr. Younger
No. The non-custodial disposals presently available to courts for young offenders and adults are the same.
With regard to custodial disposals, the existing provisions in the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975 relating to the detention of young offenders between the ages of 16 and 21 years will be replaced later this year when section 45 and schedule 5 to the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 are brought into effect. These new provisions abolish the three existing custodial sentences for young offenders and substitute a single new sentence of detention to be served, depending upon length of sentence, in either a detention centre or a young offenders' institution.
Offences involving children under 16 years of age are, of course, generally dealt with by children's hearings and, as I informed the House on 19 May 1981, we do not intend to make any fundamental changes to this system.—[Vol. 5, c. 46–48.]