Letter: International law on juvenile crime

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Home Secretary's plans announced yesterday for eventually changing juvenile sentencing law failed to address a more immediate and substantially more important law and order problem, which was highlighted by the report of the case at Sutton Youth Court on 2 March ('Boy given bail after admitting 200 raids,' 3 March).

When persistent juvenile offenders are taken to court and learn that they must be released on bail, they receive no incentive to change their ways.

My colleagues and I and our Benches experience this problem daily in the outer London Courts. We share the very real and understandable concerns of the Metropolitan Police Service and the public that juvenile law enforcement and criminal justice processes are, in this particular respect, wholly ineffectual under current legislation.

Yours sincerely,

P. W. H. LYDIATE

Honorary Secretary

Justices' Clerks' Society

Outer London Branch

London, NW10

3 March

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