§ Mr. Harry Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to discourage crime by juveniles; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Jack
The Government have already introduced a wide range of measures to discourage young people from committing crime. In the Criminal Justice Act 1991, implemented on 1 October 1992, we have recently strengthened the powers of the court in relation to defendants under the age of 18.
Both in absolute terms, and as a proportion of all known offenders, the number of known juvenile offenders has declined in recent years. But the Government are not complacent. We are currently considering what additional measures it might be appropriate to introduce in order to deal more effectively with the small number of juveniles who persistently re-offend and for whom existing arrangements appear to be inadequate.