Ireland's top child protection expert wants to jail adults who groom children to carry out crimes

The country's top child protection expert wants to jail adults who groom children to carry out crimes.

Special reporteur, Geoffrey Shannon, says a new law named after the villain 'Fagin' in Oliver Twist, should be introduced as soon as possible.

He has highlighted the need for the rule change in his annual Oireachtas report.

Professor Geoffrey Shannon says 'Fagin's Law' will target adults who commission children to commit crimes like shoplifting, burglary or carrying drugs.

The report also calls for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised from 10 to 14.

Child law specialist Catherine Ghent says legislation alone isn't enough.

She said: "I think what you would need in tandem to this is where you identify vulernable children who are being pushed into crime by adults, that there is a therapuetic response to that whether the 'Fagin' character be in the family or outside the family."

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