Schoolgirl crimes

Some would argue that at fourteen years old, teenagers only really have a basic, naive world-view of their actions, that whilst being preoccupied with their studies and members of the opposite or same sex, they need the instruction and support of their families in teaching them about social behaviour and etiquette. Should that be a job for the local law enforcement agencies?

Ajman's authorities, in the United Arab Emirates, seems to have decided how best to discipline youngsters in its state by undermining public legislation to arrest a fourteen year old girl on charges of adultery, we learn from Gulf News.Her crime was to meet a young man on the roof of a building and not having sex with him, as a gynaecologist later confirmed that she was still, in fact, a virgin.

The law dictates that it is unacceptable to arrest and imprison youngsters at this age in connection with any sex-related offences.

''The case of my daughter was referred to public prosecutors, who refused to bail her out,' the aggrieved father said, adding that his daughter was referred to the Ajman Central Jail where she was kept with adult women prisoners.'

''The police could have handled the case more sensitively,' he said. 'My daughter was born in 1996, she is only 14. When police called me to report along with my daughter to the CID, I was clueless about what they wanted from me and from her; I took ...[her] to police where I learnt that someone had complained against her — that she was meeting an adult man on the roof of our building. I became angry with her and told the police that I would handle the matter within the family.''

As much as every parent may at some point advocate fastening an electronic collar around their teenagers' ankles to monitor their whereabouts, for teenagers in some parts of the world it's a very real possibility.

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