27/10/13 - Publication
NAAN publishes guidance after new Code C makes appropriate adults mandatory for 17 year olds.
Following the consultation, the Home Office has made significant changes to PACE Code C. 17 year olds will now be treated as children in most respects while at the police station. This includes mandatory proovision of an appropriate adult. 17 year olds will still be treated as adults in some respects.
During the consultation period NAAN held a joint event, hosted by Just for Kids Law, which brought together many different organisations. Based on discussions at the event, we drew up a draft submission and shared it with many organisations including Prison Reform Trust, Howard League, Just for Kids Law and HMIC. The result is significant uniformity across the submissions. Changes suggested in our consultation submission were made in the final draft, including: -
1. the removal of further powers for the police to prevent access by the AA to the custody record and
2. the inclusion of access to a translator where the child is fluent in English but the AA is a parent and is not fluent.
It remains a frustration that revisions to the PACE Codes do not impact on the legal definition of juveniles and consequently on issues such as Section 38(6) transfers to local authority accommodation for 17 year olds.
However, Home Office officials have assured NAAN that changes to primary legilsation are being considered elsewhere in the Department and all submissions have been passed over. There is certainly a weight of opinion across AA schemes, reformers regulators, inspectors and police, that legislation should be aligned to move away from 'juveniles' to 'children and young people'.
Click here for further information, including links to Code C 2013 and new NAAN guidance on 17 year olds.