Voting age: Proposal has consequences

I read with interest the call by Julie Porksen for the voting age to be lowered for the EU referendum, (Northumberland Gazette, June 25).

Whilst I agree that some 16 and 17-year-olds are mature enough to understand the situation, the fact is not all of them are.

Not all of them are in the armed forces as we do not have National Service, which used to be for people attaining the age of 18 years, and not all 16 and 17-year-olds pay taxes due to the fact that they are not employed as they are in full-time education.

If we are to let this age group have the vote, then we must treat them as having full responsibility for their actions.

So if brought to court because they have committed an offence, they will not be brought in front of a youth court, but put in front of an adult court, and will not have their names and addresses withheld for legal reasons. If sent to prison, they will be sent to an adult institution and not to a young offenders’ institution.

Having sat in these courts, I shudder to think of the results of putting young 16 or 17-year-olds in the same ‘block’ as some of the hard cases we had to deal with.

That, Julie, is only one of the effects that your proposal would have. There are more, of course, but have you thought this through?

David Brown MBE,