Hungary’s govt plans to reduce criminal-age threshold, says PM Orban

Budapest, February 26 (MTI) – Preparations are under way to radically update the Criminal Code, and one of the changes being considered to reduce the age at which a person can be held criminally liable, Viktor Orban, the prime minister, said on his Facebook page on Saturday.

Orban said measures, including a “three-strikes law”, which the government had already put in place to tighten public security could already be felt. Shop thefts have fallen by 40 percent and the police have started to regain the trust of ordinary people, he said. But the situation was still grave enough to warrant enforcing further strict policies, he added.

    When it comes to lowering the age at which people can be held criminally responsible, the government will seek the opinions of sociologists, psychologists and child-protection experts, as well as collating experiences from home and abroad, Orban said.

    He said the main beneficiaries of the positive anti-crime developments were people who lived in the countryside and in small settlements. Problem areas over the past few years are found in the poor north-east, and more and more police have been deployed to these areas, he added.

    From March 6 around two thousand new police officers will be deployed, he noted.

    ”Under the Socialist government, the people did not trust the police, and often did not report crimes committed against them,” Orban wrote. “Already people again see police officers as their protectors and there is greater trust in the authorities,” he added.

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