Vox Pop: Should children’s minor convictions be wiped once they turn 18?


Reporter Victoria Bull has been asking people in Hemel Hempstead’s town centre what they think of a youth justice inquiry’s recommendations to offer children with low-level convictions a clean slate at the age of 18.

Coleen Watson, Highfield:

‘If they were very young when they committed a crime, it should be taken off their record, as long as they have shown they can behave since. They’re kids – it’s going to ruin their lives.’

Glennis Springle, shops in Hemel Hempstead:

‘It depends on the crime. If it was bullying or violence, then it shouldn’t. For something minor then yes,everyone deserves a second chance.’

Richard Quick, Redbourn:

‘It’s a good idea. It encourages them to make a fresh start, and I have seen past convictions make a difference to the way employers look at applicants. We all make mistakes when we’re young.’

Marc Austin, Old Town:

‘If you do the crime, you should do the time. If kids get let off with just a slap on the wrist, it will only encourage them. I am no angel, but young people these days have no respect.’

Ron Hicks, shops in Hemel Hempstead:

‘If they were picked up for it the first time, yes – when you get to 18 you have more sense. We should bring back National Service to teach people respect.’