Laura Sharman 10 September 2018

Lack of suitable accommodation forcing police to lock up children

Lack of suitable accommodation forcing police to lock up children image

A lack of suitable accommodation is forcing the police to detain children and vulnerable adults, the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee has warned.

Figures show that in a year, 1,295 children were charged and detained in police custody, while many vulnerable adults were left without an Appropriate Adult.

The committee is calling for councils and the mayor to work together to provide more suitable accommodation for children detained in the capital.

It also wants the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to work with London Councils to develop a plan for reducing the number of children kept in custody.

'We examined the provision of healthcare for people in custody four years ago and although significant positive progress has been made, there is still more to do,' said Caroline Pidgeon of the Police and Crime Committee.

'We are especially concerned about the experiences of children being held in police cells. We are disappointed by the apparent lack of action to improve the provision of alternative accommodation for children in custody, especially given the priority MOPAC assigns to child protection.

'We urge the Mayor, MOPAC, London Councils and the London Safeguarding Children Board to urgently find a solution. The current situation of children in police cells overnight is unacceptable and shames our justice system.'

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