Call made to ensure juveniles charged with rape punished

National

CASES of rape by juveniles should be taken up to the national level and be properly investigated by experienced police officers so that offenders are punished, a prosecutor says.
Senior juvenile prosecutor Rebecca Malcen told the Juvenile Justice Services meeting in Port Moresby that the matter had become more serious lately because some juveniles whose cases had been dismissed for incomplete
investigations were back re-offending. The meeting was attended by delegates from Australian Federal Police (AFP), Correctional Services Juvenile Section at Bomana, United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and other juvenile facilitating agencies.
“This issue has to go to the national level so that they can assess and assign files compiling responsibilities to more reliable officers that can handle and complete such cases, so that the accused get to serve the penalties. At our level there’s not much we can do,” Malcen said.
She said this was because the investigators did not complete their files.
Malcen said a juvenile whose two cases of rape  were dismissed earlier was currently back in custody after
allegedly committing the same offence.
“We normally have their crime information before us but we don’t usually manage to have them completed.
These are especially statements from witnesses and follow ups are not properly done,” Malcen said.
She said the committal process they had to go through would take three months in which a report should be filed against them by the prosecutors.
“When the report does not eventuate, the child gets discharged and is again at large,” she said.

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