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What's the answer to child crime?

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The One Show Team | 15:48 UK time, Friday, 2 October 2009

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There were 6,000 crimes committed by children under ten, over the last three years in England and Scotland. No one could be held to account, because they're all under the age of criminal responsibility.

Justin Rowlatt has been exploring the issue.

Esther Rantzen told him that parents of child offenders should face criminal charges for neglect.

In Edinburgh, at a special police unit, he was told that "there's a misconception that we're about punishing children and that's really not the case. It's very much about identifying what the root cause is.

"Legislation dicates that we look at rehabilition, rather than punishing juvenile offenders".

Politician, First Minister, Alex Salmond said to Justin:

"We don't believe we should just lump in children with adults as criminals - we have to try and deal with the causes. We are determined not to see young people set into a cycle of crime and imprisonment.

"The approach we've taken is to intervene in the issue of parenting."

And finally, on the outskirts of Glasgow, Justin heard from two mothers that parents should be held responsible for the actions of their children - but that support should be available to families.

What is the answer to child crime? Is tackling the root causes enough? Share your views here.

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