NEW MEASURES TO introduce a penalty of five years imprisonment on conviction of grooming children into a life of crime are set to be approved by Cabinet today.
Grooming children into a life of crime to carry penalty of five years in prison under new law© Alamy Stock Photo
Minister for Justice Simon Harris will today seek approval for a new Bill which will, for the first time, create specific offences where an adult compels, coerces, induces or invites a child to engage in criminal activity.
It will give gardaí additional powers and make it a separate, prosecutable offence, on top of provisions in current law where an adult who causes or uses a child to commit a crime can generally be found guilty as the principal offender.
This means they can be punished as though they committed the crime themselves.
The new legislation also gives the gardaí the power to intervene locally to prevent offences taking place.
The new law will specifically recognise the harm done to a child by drawing them into a world of criminality.
In tandem with this legislation, the Greentown Project, currently has two trials underway to reduce and disrupt the influence of criminal networks on children in two local areas and to provide supports for the positive development of the children who are affected.
The project, which is based out of the University of Limerick, aims at developing new effective responses to the problem of children’s engagement with local criminal networks in Ireland. It