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Unregulated Accommodation: 16 to 17-year-olds

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:14 pm on 15th October 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Conservative, South West Bedfordshire 7:14 pm, 15th October 2019

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right, and I will go on to call for exactly what he has just highlighted to the House.

Many of these homes also have adults up to the age of 25 in them, and we know that drug taking is prevalent in many of them. We know that a young man on bail for knifepoint robbery was placed in a home with 16-year-old girls. We know that two girls were placed alongside a male sex offender, and that one 17-year-old boy was murdered by another resident. The home had not told either sending local authority about an earlier fight between the two boys.

The impact on police forces of the number of missing person incidents from unregulated homes is significant. Police officer availability is an extremely precious resource to local communities. Quite rightly, a missing child is always a high priority for any police force. If there is a significant increase in the episodes of missing children in a police force area, that means that other vulnerable children and adults in the population area of that police force are left much more unprotected than they should be.