Principal District Judges, officials of the AP Judicial Academy and academicians have stressed the need to take better care of children in developing them into good citizens, at a workshop on juvenile justice for judicial officers and other stakeholders of the juvenile justice delivery system, held at the District Courts complex here.

This was the first of the seven workshops being held in the State, as per the directions of the Supreme Court.

Additional Director of the AP Judicial Academy V.S.R. Avadhani said the rules under the juvenile justice Acts must be implemented. Officials at the State level were not acting well, he pointed out while stressing the need for allotment of more funds and amendments to the Acts.

Mr. Avadhani said that cinema, disputes in family, environment outside the houses etc. were found to be the reason for 70 per cent of juvenile delinquency cases.

The National Crime Bureau statistics showed that juvenile crime (committed by those in the 14-18 years age group) had increased from 9.2 per cent of the total crimes during 2008 to 10 per cent at present. Crimes by minors (below 14 years of age) accounted for two per cent of the crimes. The juvenile offenders were forming into groups to commit crimes like robberies and chain snatchings.

In Andhra Pradesh there were more than 34,500 cases of juvenile crime. Principal District Judge of Visakhapatnam Ch. Manavendranath Roy felt that the Government should also protect the children and the police should change the methods of dealing with children. He urged all to treat children as friends and create a good environment for them. Children's needs must be considered as their basic rights, Mr. Roy added.

Children's care should be made a fundamental right, said Principal District Judge of Vizianagaram P. Mutyala Naidu. Mr. Naidu said the police were not following the rules regarding juvenile delinquents.

A case should be closed within four months after filing the FIR but cases were running for several years, he said.