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Ages


Answer

There are a number of measures that can be used for any vulnerable or intimidated witness. Some people automatically assume vulnerable status within the court process:
 
  • All child witnesses under 18 at time of giving evidence;
  • Any person suffering from a mental disorder;
  • Any person suffering from a learning disability;
  • Any person who is physically disabled;
  • Any witness whose evidence is likely to be diminished through fear or distress.

The police have the responsibility of notifying the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) at the earliest possible stage of any measures that may be required. The CPS will then make an application to the Court for a Special Measure Direction and the Court will decide if the measures will help the witness to give their 'best evidence'.
 
Special measures include:
 
  • Screening the witness from the accused;
  • Giving evidence through a live link;
  • Giving evidence in private;
  • Removal of wigs and gowns;
  • Use of communication aids;
  • Video recording of interview used as evidence;
  • Examination of the witness through a third party.

You will not be prevented from being seen by the Judge or Justices, jury (if there is one), legal representatives, interpreter or other persons appointed to assist the witness. For further help and information please see the websites in Related Information.


Answer

Air weapon

  • It is an offence for a person under the age of 18 to purchase or hire an air weapon or ammunition for an air weapon.
  • It is an offence to sell, let on hire or make a gift of an air weapon or ammunition for an air weapon to a person under the age of 18.
  • It is an offence for anyone under the age of 18 to have with them an air weapon or ammunition for an air weapon unless:
    • they are under the supervision of a person aged 21 or over;
    • they are shooting as a member of an approved target shooting club;
    • they are shooting at a shooting gallery and the only firearms being used are either air weapons or miniature rifles not exceeding .23 inch calibre;
    • the person is 14 years old or above and is on private premises with the consent of the occupier.
  • It is an offence to part with possession of an air weapon, or ammunition, to a person under the age of 18 except under the special circumstances mentioned immediately above.
  • It is an offence to a supervising adult to allow a person under the age of 18 to use an air weapon for firing a pellet beyond the boundaries of any premises.

Shotgun

  • There is no minimum age to get a shotgun certificate but a person under the age of 14 years may not be granted a firearm certificate in any circumstances.
  • A person under 15 years old may not have with them an assembled shotgun, except while under the supervision of a person of or over the age of 21, or while the shot gun is covered with a securely fastened gun cover so that it cannot be fired.
  • A person under the age of 18 may not purchase a firearm or ammunition.
  • A person with a shotgun certificate can give or lend a shotgun to a person who is 15 years old on private premises.
  • A person must be 15 years old before they can use a shotgun without being supervised by an adult (who must be at least 21).
  • A young person with their own shotgun certificate can borrow a shotgun for up to 72 hours.
  • Where a firearm or shotgun holder is under the age of 18, responsibility for the secure storage of the firearms and ammunition held on that young person's certificate must be assumed by a person aged 18 or over.
  • A person aged between 14 and 17 may possess and use a section 1 firearm and ammunition as long as they hold a valid firearms certificate for that firearm.
  • It is an offence for anyone to gift a shotgun or shotgun ammunition, to a person under the age of 15.

A person may also use a shotgun on private premises under certain circumstances. A person without holding a certificate may borrow a shotgun from another person on private premises as long as:

  • the weapon is being borrowed for either shooting at artificial targets, hunting animals, or shooting game or vermin;
  • the lender is at least 18 years old, holds a relevant certificate, and either has the right to allow others to enter the premises for the purpose of shooting animals, game or vermin, or, is authorised in writing by such a person to lend weapons on the premises;
  • the borrower's possession and use of the weapon complies with any conditions set out in the lender's certificate; and
  • during the time the weapon is borrowed, the borrower is in the presence of the lender or another person aged 18 or over who holds a relevant certificate and has the right to allow others to enter the premises for the purpose of shooting animals, game or vermin, or is authorised in writing by such a person to lend weapons on the premises.

A person borrowing a shotgun on private premises may also purchase or acquire ammunition on the premises during the time the firearm is borrowed, as long as the ammunition is for use with the borrowed firearm, it is allowed by the lender's certificate, and it complies with any related conditions in the certificate.


Answer

5 years old

  • must attend school or home education

7 years old

  • can have a savings account with a bank or building society

10 years old

  • can be held criminally responsible and convicted of a criminal offence

12 years old

  • can see a film certified by the British Board of Film Classification as a 12A, in a cinema, unaccompanied

13 years old

  • can get a job (if there is a local by-law allowing it) (can only work for a certain amount of hours)

14 years old

  • is responsible for wearing their own seatbelt
  • can ride an electrically assisted pedal cycle

15 years old

  • can see a film certified 15 by the British Board of Film Classification at a cinema

16 years old

  • can get married with one parents consent
  • can have a child's current account (some banks may let you do so from age 11)
  • can consent to all sexual activity
  • can leave school on the last Friday in June if you'll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays. However you must then do one of the following until you are 18:
    • stay in full time education, for example at a college
    • start an apprenticeship or traineeship
    • spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training
  • can join armed forces with parental consent (but not permitted into war zone)
  • can work full time (on leaving school)
  • can claim social security benefits
  • can get a licence to drive a moped
  • can buy a pet
  • can choose your own doctor
  • can consent to surgical, medical or dental treatment.
  • can buy premium bonds
  • can open an Individual Savings Account (ISA)
  • can drink beer, cider or wine with a meal in a restaurant if accompanied by a person over 18
  • can play the National Lottery
  • can change your name
  • if receiving Disability Living Allowance at a higher rate, can obtain provisional category B entitlement on a driving licence

17 years old

  • can obtain a licence to drive vehicles (except certain heavy goods vehicles)
  • can be a street trader
  • can give blood

18 years old

  • can buy alcohol
  • can obtain a licence to sell alcohol
  • can drink alcohol in a pub
  • can buy tobacco/cigarettes
  • can appear before an adult court
  • can make a will
  • can buy an air rifle
  • can act as an executor of a will
  • can bet
  • can get married without parents' consent
  • can buy a lighter refill
  • can sit on a jury
  • can vote
  • can stand as a candidate in an election
  • leave home without parent or guardian's consent
  • can buy fireworks
  • can sue and be sued
  • can see a film certified 18 by the British Board of Film Classification at a cinema
  • can hold a mortgage
  • can buy land/ houses
  • can go to war
  • can go abroad to perform professionally
  • can get a tattoo

21 years old

  • can drive any vehicle (providing relevant tests passed)
  • can adopt a child


Answer

To hold a licence to drive a moped you have to be 16 years old. To hold a licence for a car you have to be 17 years old, unless you are getting or have applied for the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in which case the minimum age is 16. To ride a motorcycle you have to be 17 years old.


Answer

  Front Seat Rear Seat Who is responsible?
Driver Seat belt MUST be worn if fitted   Driver
Child under 3 years of age Correct child restraint MUST be used Correct child restraint MUST be used. If one is not available in a taxi, may travel unrestrained Driver
Child from 3rd birthday up to 1.35m in height or 12th birthday whichever they reach first Correct child restraint MUST be used Correct child restraint MUST be used where seat belts are fitted. MUST use adult belt if the correct child restraint is not available:
* in a licensed taxi/private hire vehicle or
* for reasons of unexpected necessity over a short distance or
* if two occupied child restraints prevent fitment of a third
Driver
Child over 1.35 metres (approx 4ft 5ins in height) or 12 or 13 years Seat belt MUST be worn if available. Seat belt MUST be worn if available. Driver
Adult passengers aged 14 and over Seat belt MUST be worn if available. Seat belt MUST be worn if available. Passenger
 


Answer

No there is no minimum legal age to be a babysitter. It is the responsibility of the parents to use common sense when making a decision regarding the welfare of their child. In all situations, parents should assess the suitability of the babysitter before you leave any children in their care.

It is worth bearing in mind, that a child under 16 years old cannot be prosecuted for neglect or ill treatment of children in their care. The parents/carers/guardians would be charged in that situation. However, any person who is aged 16 or over and who has responsibility for a child under that age could be prosecuted.


Answer

The child must be at least 14 years old to be employed, and there are strict restrictions on the hours and conditions for this. These restrictions can be varied by local by-laws to a certain degree. Such by-laws would vary depending on the type of trade and age of the child. It is possible that the local authority will have a by-law which states that children under 13 can do light agricultural and horticultural work for their parents or guardians. To see if any such by-laws exist in your area please contact your local authority, using the link within related information.

The main restrictions are as follows:

  • must not work during school hours
  • must not work for more than two hours on a school day
  • not work for more than 12 hours during a school week (1 hour between 7am and 830am and 1 hour between end of school and 7pm or 2 hours between end of school and 7pm)
  • not for more than 2 hours on a Sunday (between 7am and 11am)
  • not for more than 5 hours a day if he/she is under 15 years old on any day that is not a school day and not a Sunday (Saturday and school holidays)
  • not for more than 8 hours a day if he/she is over 15years old and over on any day that is not a school day and not a Sunday (Saturday and school holidays)
  • for more than 35 hours in a week if he/she is aged 15 and over
  • for not more than 25 hours in a week if he/she is under 15
  • he must have at least two consecutive weeks off in any year during which he/she does not work and is not at school.


Answer

A person under the age of 18 can work in a bar, as long as they are supervised continually by a responsible person, such as the licence holder or bar manager. They cannot sell alcohol unless every sale is authorised by an adult.

Normal employment law applies to children working, see question in related information for further details.

Protecting children from harm is one of the primary objectives in licensing law and local authorities can impose additional conditions to premises banning children altogether, if it is considered necessary.


Answer

There is no official age when you can leave home. As long as you can show that you are living in accommodation that provides a safe environment (e.g. you are not at risk from drugs prostitution violence etc.) and you have a stable respectable method of supporting yourself financially, there are no legal barriers to leaving home at 16 years or older. If you are under 16, your parents or carers have a responsibility to keep you safe and they could possibly get a court order to make you return home or into care. If you are aged 17, then this is still possible, subject to all the surrounding circumstances.

If you just run away you could be in terrible danger. There could be consequences for young people who leave home and get into the wrong company. Making the wrong move could ruin your life.

Remember it is NOT what you judge to be a safe environment but what the people/authorities responsible for your welfare think is safe. You should try and do this with their blessing if possible.

If there is a serious underlying problem at home, talk to someone else, a teacher, a trusted adult relation or contact the charity Childline on 0800 1111 (or go to their website at www.childline.org.uk).

Do not act in haste, get as much advice and help as you can before you decide what to do.


Answer

You must be 18 years old to get a tattoo. The only exception to this is when the tattoo is carried out for medical reasons by a qualified medical practitioner.
  
If you are over 18, make sure you use a tattoo artist who is registered with the Department of Health. You will be asked to sign a consent form and provide proof of age that you are over 18.  

If your child has been tattooed and they are under 18 then you should contact the local police/environmental health department of your local council with the relevant details.

See the website in Related Information to find your local authority.


Answer

The Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) is a government-supported scheme to accredit organisations that provide proof of age cards. There are a number of accredited national organisations: CitizenCard, One ID 4 U and My ID Card amongst others.

For further details on the proof of age cards and how to apply, see the websites in Related Information.


Answer

There is no minimum age for most body piercings but performing genital or nipple piercing on someone under the age of 16 could be considered an offence.

In order to be able to carry out the piercing procedure a licence is required. Many local authorities set an age limit of 16 years old as a condition of the licence.

Most local councils keep registers of approved piercers who have passed hygiene and safety standards and who are regularly inspected by health and safety officers. A copy of this licence must be displayed in a prominent place on the premises.

See the link in Related Information to find your local authority.


Answer

It is an offence to sell alcohol to a person under the age of 18. If you know an off-licence that is selling alcohol to a person under the age of 18, you should contact your local police force or Trading Standards Office who will take the details. The person that is selling the alcohol to those under 18 could face a fine.

Contact your local police force

Enter your town or postcode to see information from your local force

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