Juvenile arrests highest in capital city

National

By ALPHONSE PORAU
OFFICER in-charge of the Police Juvenile Justice Unit Steven Kum says the National Capital District had the biggest number of juveniles arrested and detained by police last month.
Kum, who is also a deputy chairman for the recently formed Provincial Juvenile Justice Committee (NCD and Central), said reports collected for February showed that 20 juveniles were arrested. Most were between the ages 11 and 15.
“We always do weekly check-up on police station cells in the NCD Tuesdays and Thursdays,” he said.
“Our reports shows that at least five juveniles are apprehended by police weekly, most are over minor crimes and a few over serious offences.”
Kum said most of the children under the age of 15 did not know whether they were breaking the law because they saw it as fun.
He said when they did checks to see whether some were arrested for minor crimes, they just cautioned them and let them go but those with serious crimes were released by police through diversion as an alternative of charging.
“Most children who are arrested are involved in street-selling while some rape and most likely involved in murder. Most of them are also arrested for consuming drug (marijuana).
“For summary offences, sometimes we caution them and let them do general clean up before letting them go. But the ones with criminal offences are sent to Waigani and their issues are forwarded to the Juvenile Justice Service.”

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