Children under 18 in police cells [8]

MQT on 2016-01-20
Session date: 
January 20, 2016
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Further to Question No: 2015/3509;

'Over the last 6 months, how many children under 18 have been held a) overnight and b) over a weekend in police cells?'

Your response being:

'The MPS Commissioner is committed to ensuring that all detainees, including young people are protected and treated appropriately while in police custody.  It is vital that appropriate safeguards are in place for all under-18s who come into contact with the police and that they are not held overnight in a police cell unless it is impractical to transfer them to local authority accommodation.

'Overnight' detention is defined as holding an individual within custody for four or more consecutive hours between midnight and 8:00am.  'Weekend' detention is defined as holding within custody an individual, who has been detained at some time on a Saturday or Sunday, for at least four hours before being released the following Monday.

The most recent data available (01/11/14 - 30/04/15) indicates that 3,005 and 483 under 18 detentions within custody 'overnight' and at the 'weekend' respectively.

NB - The number of detentions do not equate to the number of individuals detained.  E.g. an individual detainee may have been arrested twice within the time period stated.'

What was the longest period for which an under 18 was detained in police custody?


Answer for Children under 18 in police cells [8]

Answer for Children under 18 in police cells [8]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The longest period of continual police detention found to date is 93 hours and 9 minutes. This was related to an arrest for Murder, which then resulted in a charge for Conspiracy to Cause GBH with intent.

There are two other records that show longer detention times to the above.  However, the individuals concerned spent time in hospital, which is not considered as police detention.