Call to name and shame parents of burglary trio

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THE parents of troubled teenagers who ransacked homes in the dead of night should be named and shamed according to a councillor.

Suqlain Mahmood has spoken out after homes in his ward of Bennetts End, Hemel Hempstead, were raided by the three youths, who cannot be named themselves for legal reasons.

“It is shocking to hear that children of school age are committing such heinous crimes.” he said this week.

“If their identity has to be protected then maybe the parents should be named and shamed.”

Earlier this month the three teenage boys – one of whom was just 13 at the time of the offences, were put behind bars for raiding 31 homes during a month-long crime spree.

Police wanted to publicly name the teenagers and requested that an order banning their identification because of their young ages be lifted by the court judge

However, officers were told the case was not deemed serious enough for them to submit a request.

Now Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning has put his weight behind the call to see the boys, who burgled within their own communities, named and shamed.

He has written to the Attorney General calling on him to give police the power to identify young offenders in certain cases.

“I fully support the police request and urge the Attorney General to use any powers he has to enable the police to name and shame young offenders in certain cases,” said Mr Penning.

“In the case highlighted by The Gazette these three teenagers have been convicted of carrying out a very high number of burglaries over a short time period and clearly they must not be allowed to think they can get away with it.

“It adds insult to injury to the victims of these burglaries when the culprits are apprehended and convicted yet cannot be named.

“If the situation warrants it, I fully support the naming and shaming of young offenders.”

The 13-year-old – who is now aged 14 – and two other youths aged 16 and 17, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle.

In one raid, a woman in her 70s woke to find three young men in her room, St Albans Crown Court was told.

Laptops, mobile phones, other electrical items and jewellery were taken to a total value of £9,000 between February 14 and March 20 this year.

The trio were arrested during their spree, but carried on targeting homes in their own neighbourhood after being set free by cops while the investigation into the break-ins continued.

On Monday, August 15, the 14-year-old was sentenced to 18 months detention and training, while the 16 and 17-year-olds were given 24 months detention and training.

Councillor Mahmood added: “The overwhelming majority of teenagers in Bennetts End and Dacorum study well at school, work hard, live within their means, and make a positive contribution to their community through various means whilst enjoying their teenage years.

“This sentencing will send a message to the small minority who maybe contemplating turning to crime for a quick buck, that criminals always end up behind bars, it’s only a matter of time.

“Credit and appreciation much go to our local police officers who not only managed to catch the criminals in such a short space of time, but also brought a successful prosecution, and saved many local residents from the stress and menace of burglary.”