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Police and the courts must consider many things in deciding how to deal with a young person who has committed a crime.
The Young Offenders Act makes available a number of options, such as:
For more information please refer toInformation for victims of youth crime (PDF, 156Kb)(brochure)Information for victims of youth crime (PDF, 121Kb)(A4 version)
Where a young offender is to be cautioned, the victim may prepare a written 'statement of harm' to be read to the young offender.
For more information please refer toStatements of Harm (Young Offenders Act 1997) Information guide (PDF, 106Kb)(A4 sheet)
By legislation, no child aged under 10 years of age can be charged for a criminal offence.
Under common law, the presumption of doli incapax ("incapable of wrong") applies to children aged under 14. The prosecution must establish beyond reasonable doubt that the child understood that their act was "seriously wrong". For example, it was criminal as opposed to merely 'naughty'.
See alsoChildren's Court website