Thousands of children under 16 are being held overnight in police cells every year, figures reveal.You mean, unnecessarily?
… according to figures obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform…Ah. Right. Well, to them, it's always 'unnecessary', isn't it?
The charity called the practice "evil" and urged that it be stopped.I call this 'charity' evil, and though I wouldn't want to see it stopped (it helps to have the loons all in one place so they can be easily identified), I really, really with people would stop taking any notice of it...
Anita Dockley, research director for the charity, blamed failures in the referral process from police custody to local authority accommodation. "This referral process is a vital safeguard for children who are charged and whose bail is refused by the police. But police admitted to us that requests by them for local authority accommodation are often not met."Well, then, what are they to do with them, Anita? Have you got room for a couple at your house?
Some police forces admit concern over the numbers and are trying alternative approaches. In 2006, Hull was third in a national league table of local authorities sending children under the age of 18 to custody. But it had little impact on re-offending, said commander Keith Hunter of Hull police. He introduced full time youth justice workers into his police custody suite. Now in its third year, the scheme steers away from the criminal justice system through age-appropriate alternatives, including counselling, supported return to school, anger management and alcohol awareness training. The programme has halved the number of child detentions in Hull.Never mind the fact that it halved child detentions, what did it do for the crime rate? Did it have any effect?
Surely, if it did, it'd be trumpeted from the rooftops?The usual ACPO boilerplate...
Andy Adams, speaking for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: "As with adults, detention of children in custody is authorised for a number of reasons, including to further a criminal investigation, to uncover the identity of any suspects or because the disappearance of that person would hinder any prosecution. The rules for the detention of suspects are set down in law and on every occasion must be authorised by a custody officer.
"Detentions of both children and adults in police custody are reviewed regularly to ensure that they are being held in accordance with the law and not for any longer than required for police investigations."