A two-year-old child was reported to police for shoplifting in what is thought to be the UK’s youngest ever case, it has been revealed.
A Freedom of Information request made by the Cambridge News found that the number of youngsters under the age of criminal responsibility reached a record high in Cambridgeshire last year.
And the FOI revealed that a child aged just two years old had been reported to police for shoplifting – believed to be the youngest on record in the UK.
In cases involving young children, the child is rarely taken into custody or punished, but – with the permission of the victim – is subject to ‘restorative justice’, which is when the needs of the offender, victim and wider community are the focus rather than just punishment.
A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Police told The Independent: ‘By their nature FOI requests can result in data which is uncontextualised. In this instance there is data which shows young children being reported for various alleged crimes.’
‘All reports of crime are recorded, however these will of course not always result in criminal charges.’