Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 10°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.

shares

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.”

shares

0 comments

An artist's impression of the Arras Square to the Buttermarket - as it should look later this year.

Five major restaurants have now formally signed up for the new-look Buttermarket Centre in the heart of Ipswich which is due to open later this year.

Police hunt missing suspect

Reassurances over public protection are to be sought after police revealed a man missing for seven months is considered a serious risk to children.

Members of the Woodbridge Riverside Trust (left to right) Pete Clay, Malcolm Hodd, Andrew FitzGerald and Carolyn Gibbins, pictured ahed of demolition at the old Whisstocks boatyard

A £70,000 fundraising campaign has been launched to guarantee the future of a major new waterfront heritage project.

The A1071

A woman believed to be in her late 30s has been taken to Ipswich Hospital following a single vehicle collision near Wolves Wood in Hadleigh this morning.

The A12 near Colchester.

An accident involving a lorry and a car is currently blocking the London-bound A12 at the Colchester Bypass.

Waveney River Centre.

Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a seven-year-old girl in Burgh St Peter on Sunday.

Police are investigating the accident

A young boy has been taken to hospital after he was clipped by a car in Bildeston, near Stowmarket, this afternoon.

Wooded area behind Oulton Road, Ipswich where local residents fear that trees are due for felling.

Ipswich Borough Council has allayed fears over plans to fell trees, after Ipswich homeowners voiced concerns over the effects on nesting birds.

Inspector Julian Ditcham with the Drager Alcotest used by Suffolk Constabulary tests a motorist.

A free extra pint has led to a shipping industry senior operations co-ordinator losing his driving licence.

The hunt is on for Britain's best beach hut - and these huts at Southwold could harbour a winner. PHOTO: Warren Page/ Anglia Press Agency

Nominations have opened for a competition to find Britain’s favourite beach hut.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24