At 12 they are interrogated for the theft of cookies: what the law says

11- and 12-year-old boys arrested for cookie and date theft? Jokes and indignation accompanied the revelation of the story, Monday evening, on social media. The case comes to us from El Marbouh, a rural town in the province of Kelâa des Sraghna. Accused of theft, the pupils of the primary school of Oulad Bougraine were heard by the gendarmerie following a complaint from the school principal.

The case dates back to Friday 6 May, when the director was informed of the “robbery” in the canteen. “After the complaint, only two children were heard, in the presence of their parents. When we realized that the theft had been committed by four students, we decided to close the case and refrain from any request to do so “, tells us Alami Koraichi, provincial director of the Ministry of Education in Kelâa des Sraghna.

“The director withdrew her complaint on Monday 9 May. The file is closed the official continues, adding that in the meantime the young people involved “normally attended the sixth grade of primary school”.

“We met between the school management, the provincial administration, the parents of the students and the local elected officials to elaborate a timetable. The goal is to manage this type of accident through an educational approach ”, concludes our interlocutor.

” At the beginning, the police were reluctant to open the inquiry. She asked the manager to call only the parents, but the manager insisted. Consulted by officers, Crown he gave his instructions to open an investigation, but without presenting them to the prosecutor. There have been no legal proceedings, “he explains a judicial source contacted by Medias24.

Juvenile delinquency: what the law says

In Morocco, the youngest under twelve years old it is considered “criminally irresponsible for lack of discernment”. From the age of 12 and without reaching 18, we speak of a “Partial irresponsibility” because of a “Lack of discernment”. This category benefits from the minority excuse and is subject to a specific procedure.

In general, the officer can detain the minor in a place specially reserved for minors, without exceeding the duration foreseen for the custody. This measure must be exceptional. It applies only when it is impossible to return the minor who is responsible for its protection, or when this is necessary for the purposes of investigation or safeguarding the safety of the person concerned, all with the prior agreement of the public prosecutor.

By way of exception, the Public Prosecutor’s Office can order the child’s provisional custody. This provision may consist in the delivery of the same to the parents, to an observation center or to a charitable association, among the other options provided for by article 471 of the criminal procedure code. In the preliminary phase, the pre-trial detention must not exceed 15 days.

The criminal settlement it is generally encouraged in cases involving minors. And, unlike normal cases, public action is suspended when the complaint is dropped or the injured party withdraws. It can be reactivated in case of new items.

Another procedural peculiarity: the civil action is not exercised directly against the minor. The injured party must refer to the legal representative, who is civilly liable for the faults committed by the minor.

And the sanctions incurred? A minor under the age of 12 is generally cautioned, then handed over to the parents, guardian, kafil, etc. Whatever the nature of the offense, this category cannot be detained.

For those over the age of 12 we talk about protective measures or re-education, ranging from delivery to parents to placement in a remedial education center. The law also provides for a supervised release regime. Exceptionally and taking into account the gravity of the facts and the personality of the person concerned, the judge can pronounce the imprisonment. In this case, he must pronounce half of the sanction provided for by law. If it is a death sentence or life imprisonment, the judge must not exceed 10-15 years of imprisonment.

Juvenile delinquency: what the numbers say

In 2020, the judges put 4,306 minors in prison before sentencing. The total number of people prosecuted was 21,716 in the same year. The Ministry of Justice announces a reform to limit cases of detention among minors. A paradigm shift that would place this type of file in the “rehabilitation” instead of “punitive”.

In fact, this change is already palpable. In numerical terms, the precautionary measures issued by the courts are in fact far superior to the cases of detention. In 2020, 10,719 measures of this type (restitution of the minor to parents, supervised freedom regime, etc.) were activated during the trial, compared to 4,306 detentions or placements in medical-educational institutions.

After their trial, 8,678 minors were returned to their parents and another 1,606 placed on probation. In addition, 3,129 minors were sentenced to imprisonment, of which 1,747 suspended.

Juvenile delinquency indicators decreased in 2020. The number of children prosecuted went from 27,231 in 2019 to 21,716 in 2020. The most common crimes are violence, assault and beatings (3,163), drug use (2,786) and theft (2,136) ). In the serious crime category, intentional homicide resulted in 20 criminal proceedings by minors in 2020, up from 42 the previous year.

Urban children account for the majority of prosecution cases (81.2%). Juvenile delinquency is essentially a male phenomenon. Children make up 91.6% of the total number of minors prosecuted in 2020.

The age group with the highest number of cases is found (67.8%). between 16 and 18 years. In 2020, 205 children under the age of 12 were prosecuted. The latter are never sanctioned (criminal irresponsibility). Their victims can bring a civil action and claim damages.

Leave a Comment