§ Mr. Alton
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why sections 4 and 5 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969, prohibiting criminal procedures against children and restricting them to young persons, have not yet been brought into force; and if he has any plan to do so.
§ Mr. Mellor
Neither we nor our predecessors have thought it appropriate to implement these provisions, and my right hon. and learned Friend has no current plans to do so. The Government's approach has been to support the diversion of juvenile offenders from the criminal justice system wherever possible, by encouraging such developments as the increased use of the formal caution by the police, and the establishment of improved local consultative arrangements between the police and other agencies concerned with juvenile delinquency. We prefer this more flexible approach to the restrictions which the 1969 Act would have imposed if section 4 and the relevant parts of section 5 had been implemented.