The UK has one of the lowest ages for criminal responsibility in Europe. A child of 10 years of age can be arrested and kept in a police station. Children can make mistakes but can often find themselves charged with the most serious offences such as supplying drugs or murder. Groups of children can often find themselves implicated in allegations through the complicated law on joint enterprise.
They are also however often the victims of crime themselves and increasingly found to be the victims of coercive behaviour or modern slavery. We have considerable experience of referring clients we suspect are victims of modern slavery to the National Referral Mechanism and obtaining favourable outcomes.
Representing children/youths from the police station through to court requires specialist communication skills and experience. Children will often be scared and either full of bravado or mute from fear. It is not always easy to gain a child’s trust and to encourage them to communicate. Our youth court specialists are experienced at doing so, and explore all available options to either avoid prosecution, secure acquittals, and achieve the best possible outcome.