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New law against adults forces children into crime


New legislation comes into force today which makes it an offence for an adult to either force or encourage children to engage in any criminal activity.

The Criminal Justice Act 2024 makes it an offence for an adult to either force or encourage children to engage in any criminal activity.

Those found guilty of the new offences may face imprisonment of up to 12 months on summary conviction and up to five years on indictment.

In a statement the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the act will criminalise adults who are ruining young people’s lives and blighting their communities by enticing them into criminal lifestyles.

She said: “While offending might start small, it often snowballs into something more serious and suddenly there is no way out for a young person whose life can become plagued by debts, fear and intimidation.

“We must pursue those who do the harm, but also work to undo the harm – the Greentown Programme provides intensive wraparound supports and interventions for young people either at risk of or already influenced by criminal networks.

“It provides intensive supports for the positive development and diversion of the affected children, as well as their family members”.


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