AN INCREASE in the rate of child crime has reached alarming proportions in Slovakia. Children annually commit roughly 10,000 crimes in the republic, which is approximately 10 percent of all crimes committed in Slovakia.
Half of these are committed by children under the age of 15, the daily SME has reported.
And crime experts say that these crimes are becoming increasingly brutal.
Last week a five-year old child was involved in robbing a 54-year old man of Sk800 (€19.30). Her brothers, who attacked the man, were between 10 and 15 years of age.
Police in several towns have already registered child gangs terrorising its inhabitants.
In response to the problem the Justice Ministry, led by the Christian Democratic Movement member Daniel Lipšic, is proposing that criminal responsibility be lowered to the age of 14 in order to punish young offenders. The change is proposed as part of a new amendment to the penal code.
27. Sep 2004 at 0:00 | From press reports