Section 34 requires that, where a child or young person is in police detention, whether in relation to terrorism or not, all possible steps will be taken to identify a person responsible for their welfare. That person must informed as soon as possible that the child or young person has been arrested, the reasons why and where they being detained. This includes the local authority if the child is being provided accommodation under section 20 of the Children Act 1989.
Section 34 also defines the persons responsible for the welfare of a child or young person as their parent, guardian, local authority (if in care); or any other person who has for the time heing assumed responsibility for their welfare.
Section 107(1) (as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1991) defines a young person as between the ages of 14 and 17 years old. However, when it was brought into force in 1992, an exception was made for 17 year olds in police stations (under s.31 and s.34 of the 1933 Act) who continued to not be included in the definition of a young person in law (though an AA is required under PACE Code C). This was the case until Section 42 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 amended section 37(15) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984)
- Section 17
(1) Gives local authorities a general duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need; and, so far as is consistent with that duty, to promote the upbringing of such children by their families, by providing a range and level of services appropriate to those children’s needs.
(3) States that any of the above services may be provided for the family if it is provided with a view to safeguarding or promoting the child’s welfare.
(4A) Local authorities must, so far as is reasonably practicable and consistent with the child’s welfare, ascertain the child’s wishes and feelings regarding the provision of those services; and give due consideration (having regard to his age and understanding) to such wishes and feelings of the child.
(5) Every local authority shall facilitate the provision by others (including in particular voluntary organisations) of these services and may make such arrangements as they see fit for any person to act on their behalf.
(10) A child is 'in need' if: they are unlikely to achieve or maintain, or to have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining, a reasonable standard of health (mental or physical) or development (physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural) without the service; their health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without the service or they are disabled.
Section 21(2)(b) requires local authorities to provide accommodation for children in police detention when it is requested under section 38(6) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. The police are required to transfer to local authority accommodation any juvenile that is charged and authorised for continued police detention.
Schedule 2 section 7 requires every local authority to take reasonable steps designed to reduce the need to bring criminal proceedings against children in their area, to encourage them not to commit criminal offences and to avoid the need for them to be placed in secure accommodation.
- Section 25 (as modified by The Children (Secure Accommodation) Regulations 1991) states that a child may not be placed or kept in secure accommodation unless it appears that any other acoomodation is inappropriate because if placed in it they are likely to abscond or or injure themselves of other people.
Section 10 requires each local authority to make arrangements to promote cooperation with the local policing body and other appropriate bodies working with children in the area, with a view to improving the wellbeing of children, including protection from harm.
Section 11 places a duty on various public bodies, including police and YOTs, to ensure their functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are discharged with regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
- Article 1 is the definition of a child. Everyone under the age of 18 has all the rights in the Convention.
- Article 3 states that the best interests of children must be the primary concern in making decisions that may affect them.
- Article 4 states that governments have a responsibility to take all available measures to make sure children’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled
- Article 12 states that when adults are making decisions that affect children, children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account
- Article 19 states that children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally
- Article 37 states that children should be: detained only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time; treated with humanity, respect dignity and taking into account age-related needs; and given prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance.
- Article 40 states that children who are accused of breaking the law have the right to legal help and fair treatment in a justice system that respects their right
- Article 42 states that governments should make their rights known to adults and children