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Bill on grooming of children for crime passed
Minister of State James Browne (Pic: RollingNews.ie)

06 Mar 2024 / legislation Print

Bid to prevent children falling into crime

A bill that would make it an offence to groom children to commit criminal activity has passed through all stages of the Oireachtas.

The Criminal Justice (Engagement of Children in Criminal Activity) Bill will:

  • Make it an offence for an adult to compel, coerce, direct, or deceive a child for the purpose of engaging in criminal activity,
  • Make it an offence for an adult to induce, invite, aid, abet, counsel, or procure a child to engage in criminal activity, and
  • Limit the liability for offences to adults, to avoid further criminalising children.

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

The child concerned does not have to be successful in carrying out the offence for the law to apply.

Greentown Project

“It is only right to make punishable the harm caused to children by drawing them into a life of crime,” said James Browne (Minister of State at the Department of Justice), who brought the legislation through the Oireachtas.

The legislation has been informed by the Greentown Project, which is being implemented by the University of Limerick in partnership with the Department of Justice.

This project was set up to investigate the involvement of children in criminality, and to develop interventions to tackle the problem.

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