Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Suffolk: Children as young as nine suspected of serious crimes including arson

31 December, 2012 - 11:00
Custody cell

Custody cell

DOZENS of children aged nine or under have been investigated by police for crimes as serious as rape, sexual assault and common assault.

New figures from Suffolk Constabulary show that in 2011/12 more than 50 children were suspected of a range of offences and two adults were investigated for alleged historic rape cases committed in 1982 and 1994 when the suspects were aged nine and seven, respectively.

Two children, a seven-year-old and an eight-year-old from villages outside Bury St Edmunds were suspects in separate investigations into sexual assaults on males.

Police have said that in many cases, the children involved are so young they are often “not aware of the extent” of their actions.

Police have confirmed that no further action was taken in the cases of historic rape and that the children accused of sexual assault on a male were under the age of criminal responsibility – meaning that they would have been spoken to about the alleged incidents but no punishment was handed out.

Twenty-two eight-year-old children from Felixstowe and Trimley were spoken to by officers as suspects in investigations into the throwing of objects onto the A14, the figures also reveal. Other cases investigated included two eight-year-olds suspected of arson in Haverhill and Ipswich, offences of shoplifting in Lowestoft, Beccles, Stowmarket and Newmarket and several incidents of criminal damage.

Two instances of “malicious wounding and other like offences” were also examined – one nine-year-old from Wrentham was deemed under the age of criminal responsibility while no further action was taken against another nine-year-old from Haverhill.

A police spokesman said it worked with partner agencies in such cases and it was important not to “criminalise” young children below the age of responsibility.

He said: “Investigations of this nature are very sensitive and can be challenging in how they should be approached and resolved.

“It may be a case where children are experimenting, it might be something they’ve seen, but they’re often not aware of the extent of what they’ve done or what’s happened. It is important in cases such as these that we are not criminalising young children unnecessarily; the important thing is that appropriate steps are taken to resolve the issues.

“We work with partner agencies to look at the needs of the children involved and their families, and then put the appropriate levels of support into those families.”

0 comments

Police are searching for a man in a car who approached a nine-year-old girl in Stowmarket.

The Buttermarket Shopping Centre first opened on October 1, 1992 - a modern, glass fronted shopping centre with a green-theme.

More details have been unveiled for this year’s Raising the Bar Awards – with people across Suffolk being urged to get involved to celebrate those striving for excellence in education.

A leisure centre has reopened today following a closure of more than two months due to the discovery of the Legionella bacteria.

Parents have criticised the decision of an Ipswich school to go-ahead with a trip to a theme park despite the threat of an amber weather warning after claims a tree fell onto a slide the children were playing on.

Ipswich’s first drive-through Starbucks will open tomorrow with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony by mayor Roger Fern.

Community leaders at two east Suffolk district councils which are set to merge to save money are raising their tax by just over 3% in April.

Two former Ipswich Town FC players say the dangers of heading in football have been blown out of proportion and that it would ruin the sport if any changes to the game were made.

A driver clocked doing 129mph on the A14 has been banned for six months.

Council and highways authority officials insisted that better warnings and other preparations eased the pressure on roads around Ipswich after the closure of Orwell Bridge yesterday.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24