Increase in the age of criminal responsibility

Date: 16th December 2021

A document with a court printed on.

The final set of regulations to increase the age of criminal responsibility to 12 has been commenced as of the 17th of December 2021. These regulations will also switch on powers within the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019 to enable the police to investigate incidents. Whilst raising the minimum age to 12 years old is a starting point, it still remains below the internationally acceptable minimum age of criminal responsibility.

To adapt to this legislative change, new statutory guidance in relation to the use of a place of safety, and the investigative interview is available. Operational guidance is also being finalised by Social Work Scotland, Police Scotland and COSLA.