Parental care, supervision, love and understanding will stop juvenile crimes.

I read, as a Children’s Court adviser, and with much unhappiness, the report “Parents would suffer if they overlook children’s formative years” (NST, Feb 1).

If we as parents don’t see to their upbringing, who can?

I have pointed out that it is parental care, supervision, love and understanding that will stop juvenile crimes.

And, today, besides errant kids, we also have errant parents.

Student crimes made up 0.12 per cent of the crime index

Teenagers who were no longer schooling contributed another 1.6 per cent, or 2,665 cases, to the crime index.

It is time we worked with the school authorities to stop crime among teenagers.

Recently, in my duties at court, I had to deal with six kids, ranging from 11 to 14, for allegedly causing a fight with cangkul.

We have kids indulging in drugs or selling pirated videos.

Children’s Courts are strict with errant kids, but is this an answer to their woes?

We can impose fines on children, meaning we make parents pay for their children’s mistakes.

At the Children’s Court recently, two teenagers were fined RM3,000 each for causing a fight.

The Child Act 2001 makes many parents guilty of a child’s crimes.

And several sections in the Child Act 2001 provide penalties for parents.

Under Section 33, it is an offence to leave a child without reasonable supervision.

Such an offence carries a fine of RM 5,000, and a jail term not exceeding two years.

Section 93 makes it obligatory for parents or a guardian to execute a bond for the child’s good behaviour, with or without security, and other conditions, like accompanying the child to report to the Welfare Department at regular intervals, or attend workshops for counselling.

But are all these penalties enough?

Some say these errant kids should be jailed.

Today, I see our kids progressing to serious crimes.

So, what do we do about errant parents?

Bulbir Singh

Seremban, Negri Sembilan

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