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Assessment Centres (Safe Custody)

Volume 884: debated on Tuesday 21 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will reconsider the regulations concerning the safe custody of juveniles sent to assessment centres, in the light of the case of which details have been sent to him by the hon. and gallant Member for Winchester.

I have been asked to reply.I assume that the hon. and gallant Gentleman has in mind the Community Homes Regulations 1972. Those regulations, made under Section 43 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969, require the approval of the Secretary of State to be obtained to the provision and use of accommodation for the purpose of restricting the liberty of children accommodated in community homes and prescribe the arrangements under which a child may be placed in such accommodation. The present disturbing case, about which I shall be writing to the hon. and gallant Gentleman within the next few days, may illustrate the need for more secure accommodation at assessment centres but does not in my view call for a reconsideration of the regulations themselves.