BANKIES are being asked to make their views heard on whether they think the age of which a young person can be referred to a children’s hearing should be raised from 16 to 18.

Currently, only 16 and 17-year-olds who are already within the children’s hearing system can be referred or have their order continued until they are 18.

The proposal is that the bar on new referrals is removed so all young people between 16 and 18 can benefit from the range of protective and supportive measures available through children’s hearings.

The consultation also asks whether improvements are needed to the advice and support available for young people who are victims of crime.

Clydebank’s MSP, Gil Paterson, said: “So many vulnerable 16 and 17-year-olds do not get the right care and support they need when they fall out of the children’s hearing system.

“I want to ensure all children and young people get the right support when they need it.

“We need the public’s views on whether all under 18s should be supported in a more child-centred system to protect them from risk of exploitation, abuse or harm due to their own behaviour or other’s.

“The responses will be vital in considering the best way forward and I look forward to considering all views.”