Criminal Justice

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:32 pm on 27th February 1997.

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Photo of Michael Howard Michael Howard The Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:32 pm, 27th February 1997

I think that the hon. Gentleman has been misinformed. I recommend that he' takes the matter up with his local social services department, which should be able to make use of secure accommodation if the youngsters to whom he refers come before the courts. Sometimes they are not dealt with because of the practice of magistrates of not dealing with a defendant who has committed a number of other offences after first coming before the court. The Magistrates Association has recently issued guidance that that practice should no longer be followed. If the proposals substantially reduce delays, fewer offences will be committed between the first offence and the defendant being dealt with, which will have substantial beneficial effects.