Children in MPS custody

MQT on 2016-02-22
Session date: 
February 22, 2016
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Over the last four years 41,000 children were held overnight and 6,000 children were detained over a weekend in MPS custody - this practice will become illegal under new legislation being brought forward by the home office.  What new procedures are the MPS putting in place to make sure that children no longer end up in police cells overnight, not even as a last resort?


Answer for Children in MPS custody

Answer for Children in MPS custody

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Clause 60 of the Policing and Crime Bill 2015 will amend the Mental Health Act with a new subsection 136A, which is intended to prevent children being detained in police custody under the specific provisions of that Act.

The MPS is working with local authorities to reduce the number of children detained at a police station after charge. There are clear requirements on local authorities to respond and take into their care young people who have been refused bail. Children who are charged with an offence and refused bail should be transferred to local authority accommodation unless there is no such accommodation or escort available, or there is insufficient time to do so before attending court. On a daily basis Custody Support Inspectors are reporting to Met Detention Command meetings cases where local authorities have not responded so that this can be raised with them directly.