Please help change the law to ensure 17 yr olds are treated as children

(6 Posts)
MushG Mon 11-Mar-13 20:04:18

This is a terribly sad story that has touched me and I would really urge those that agree to sign the petition in memory of Joe and for his family:

If the law was different our son Joe would still be alive.

Joe was our only son. Last August he was arrested after failing a breath test. He was just seventeen and made a bad decision to drive home after a party. Two days later Joe took his own life. We found him at home with the police charge sheet at his feet. That was the first we knew about the arrest.

Because Joe was seventeen he was treated as an adult at the police station so the police didn't call us. The trauma of the situation led Joe to take his life.

We don't think any teenager should have to go through that alone, so we've started a petition on Change.org calling on the Government to change the law to ensure seventeen-year-olds are treated as children upon arrest.

If arrested, seventeen-year-olds are treated as adults while in custody -- but if they go to court they are rightly treated as children. This is an anomaly of British law and needs to be fixed. If we had been told about Joe's arrest we could have supported him and let him know that you can get through things like this.

Unfortunately Joe is not the only seventeen-year-old to have taken his own life after being arrested. For someone of any age being held in a police station is a traumatic experience but especially so for young people without the support of an adult.

Right now a judge is considering whether to recommend the Government changes the law but the Government is contesting the case, arguing it's expensive to change. We believe if enough people sign our petition we can convince MPs that protecting our children and fixing this anomaly is worth it.

Link to Change.org wher you can sign our petition calling on the Government to change the law.

Thank you,
Nick and Jane Lawton

flatpackhamster Mon 11-Mar-13 20:22:38

But 16 is the age of consent, and there are attempts to lower the voting age to 16. So you could raise a family as an adult, and vote as an adult, but be classed as a child for a criminal case.

ISTM that there's some muddled thinking here.

GetOrf Mon 11-Mar-13 20:30:00

I am so very sorry that you lost your son.

I didn't know about the anomaly that someone could be charged and arrested as an adult when 17, but if convicted would be treated as a child.

Have you got the link to the info you referred to?

tuttavia Mon 11-Mar-13 20:35:46

I am so sorry to hear this.

GetOrf, according to this BBC report, "the only time 17-year-olds are treated as adults - not children - is when they are arrested, detained and interviewed in police custody"

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21583286

GetOrf Mon 11-Mar-13 20:45:21

Thanks tuttavia - I had no idea (my dd is 17).

MushG Mon 11-Mar-13 21:52:50

Here is the link to sign the petition. It was not my son but the son of somebody connected with my family. Thank you to anyone who signs it.

www.change.org/petitions/home-office-ukhomeoffice-change-the-law-so-17-year-olds-are-treated-as-children-in-custody-4joe

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