Le Cheile welcomes the publication of the Engagement of Children in Criminal Activity Bill 2023. This bill, for the first time, will create specific offences where an adult compels, coerces, induces or invites a child to engage in criminal activity. Speaking about the matter, CEO Anne Conroy said
“Le Cheile works with young people involved in offending and is aware of children being lured into criminal gangs through false promises, bullying, debt and intimidation. It is both a child protection and a criminal justice matter. We see the negative consequences for children and young people who are abused and exploited as well as the impact on families and communities. Le Cheile provides mentoring and in partnership with other agencies in the community, works to give young people hope and the support to move away from offending behaviour. We know from experience the challenges of trying to support children and young people out of the grip of local criminal gangs. This new legislation is a welcome part of the jigsaw that is needed to combat those adults who groom or abuse young people into criminal activity”.