Anti-social Behaviour Bill

– in a Public Bill Committee am ar 22 Mai 2003.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

[Mr. James Cran in the Chair]

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 9:10, 22 Mai 2003

On a point of order, Mr. Cran. I want to clarify some of the points I made during the debate in our previous sitting on clause 48. I was asked whether fixed penalty notices for graffiti and fly posting would apply to juveniles. I replied that they would apply to all people aged 10 and over, but that up to the age of 14 a child would have to know that what they were doing was wrong for a fixed penalty notice to be issued. Unfortunately, I misled the Committee.

It has come to my attention that the law on criminal responsibility for 10 to 13-year-olds was changed by section 34 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Prior to that there was indeed a rebuttable presumption that the prosecution needed to prove that the child had mischievous discretion—that is, they knew that what they were doing was seriously wrong. The Committee will be pleased to hear that that presumption no longer exists. I therefore assure hon. Members that under the proposal, fixed penalty notices for graffiti and fly posting can be issued on the same basis to anybody over the age of nine. I am happy to be able to clarify that point.

Photo of Mr James Cran Mr James Cran Ceidwadwyr, Beverley and Holderness

I am sure that the Committee appreciates that act of contrition.Clause 53 Sale of aerosol paint to children