Police Custody: Children

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 11th June 2018.

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Photo of Emma Lewell-Buck Emma Lewell-Buck Shadow Minister (Education) (Children and Families)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of children that spent a night in custody in each of the last five years.

Photo of Phillip Lee Phillip Lee The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Owing to changes in case management systems, information is available for the last three years only: it relates to the total number of nights spent (not children) in custody by young people under 18 and is provided in the table below:

Number of nights spent by young people under 18 in custody







These figures include all nights spent in custody by children and young people under 18 who have been sentenced or remanded by the courts and have subsequently been released to the community: have transitioned to the over 18 secure estate, have transferred to a Mental Health Unit; or have turned 18 years old. They do not include time spent in police custody. A child or young person is counted more than once if he or she had more than one custodial episode which ended within the year.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing and can be subject to change over time.

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