The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has made a new announcement regarding the age limit for the agency to file criminal records of minors.
In a press statement issued on Thursday, the DCI has indicated that any criminal activities committed beyond the age of 12 years will be reflected in the Certificate of Good Conduct.
Quelling an earlier debate by a section of Kenyans on when the government should start tracking a child’s criminal records, the DCI has revealed that the limit starts at 12 years and not 18 as alleged by many.
The debate was sparked by a directive that the students taking part in the ongoing unrest that they risked booking records in the bad books including having the reports reflected in the Certificate of Good Conduct.
Sounding the warning after several schools torched, the government indicated that student’s found culpable of the crimes would be held criminally responsible for their misdeeds.
However, Kenyans across social media opined that crimes committed below the age of 18 should not be reflected in the certificate – a basic requirement in seeking employment and even when travelling abroad.
The DCI noted that: “The records include all adult persons who have committed serious offences, all children of 12 years and above who have committed serious offences. Quoting Section 14 (1) – (2) of the Penal Code, the DCI noted that a person under the age eight years is not criminally responsible for any act or omission.
The DCI further added that the Penal Code only exempts individuals below the age of 12 years from criminal culpability “unless he had the capacity to know that he ought not to do the act or make the omission”.
Moreover, the DCI noted that recording such crimes was an obligation enshrined in Chapter Four, Article 35 (1) of the Constitution which requires that the records held by the government or individuals can be made public “for the purpose of protecting any right or fundamental freedom”.
“Police clearance certificates are issued either bearing information that an individual does not have any criminal record or not.
“Where a criminal record has been traced such certificate shall bear all the offences which such a person was charged including the results of such case(s).
“Where the cases are still pending before the court, the certificate shall bear the offences with remarks “outstanding” in the results column,” the statement by the DCI indicates.