In Scotland, the average age of offenders is just 18. Cases involving children are referred to the Children's Reporter who can take no further action, arrange a children's hearing or divert the child to social work.
Barnardo's run a social work scheme which aims to prevent children becoming persistent offenders. When a child has perpetrated or been the victim of an offence, or where a child is beyond parental control, a Children’s Hearing can be called. This may impose a supervision requirement or place a child in care.
This clip could be used to illustrate the responsibilities of The Children's Reporter. Following the clip, students could work in groups to discuss what they believe are the causes of crime, and why some children are more likely to be involved in crime? The provision of social care through Barnardo’s shown in the clip can lead to discussion of the roles of the state and voluntary sectors in this area.
The class could discuss the age of criminal responsibility. In Scotland, criminal responsibility starts at age 8, with prosecution possible from age 12. Students could discuss how the age of resposibility varies between different countries and the basis for why each age has been chosen.