Court of Appeal rules the lack of secure accommodation for children in London is unlawful | Just For Kids Law

Source: Just For Kids Law First published 30th July 2021

LONDON: The Court of Appeal has today ruled on a case brought by the children’s legal charity Just for Kids Law, who successfully argued that the failure by local authorities in London to provide appropriate alternative accommodation for children arrested and held by the police is unlawful. The challenge was brought against one local authority, Waltham Forest, although the issue affects all London local authorities, and the London Councils and Association of Directors of Children’s Services were named as interested parties.

Ten of thousands of children are held overnight in a police cell every year, despite clear guidance from government that police cells are designed for adults and an inappropriate place for children to be held. Once charged with an offence, if a child cannot be bailed, they are supposed to be accommodated by the local authority. Sadly, in practice this rarely happens, and children spend a night or more in police custody.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the lack of such accommodation meant that Waltham Forest did not have a reasonable system in place to meet requests by the police, stating at para 64:

“The system was inherently likely to fail in the sense that, as a matter of routine, the answer to a police request would be “No.””

Just for Kids Law

Read full piece source: Court of Appeal rules the lack of secure accommodation for children in London is unlawful

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