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Juvenile Delinquents

Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what discussions have taken place involving the Magistrates' Association, the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and the Association of County Councils about the treatment of juvenile delinquents; and if he will make a statement.

The associations are publishing the report of a joint working party today, and a copy has been placed in the Library. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, the Minister of State for the Home Office, the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science and I met the associations on 12th July to receive this report and discuss its findings. We are grateful to the associations for taking part in the working party which was set up at our suggestion. We welcome the considerable measure of agreement recorded in it. Although there is a continuing difference of view anout who should decide whether a child or young person who repeatedly commits offences should be taken into residential care, the report includes a code of practice for the guidance of local authorities when they are deciding how to place children or young people who have come into care as the result of committing offences. The ACC and the AMA will be circulating the code to their members as guidelines, and the Magistrates' Association has welcomed it and will be bringing it to the notice of their members. There are a number of other recommendations which are now being considered by the Government as well as by the associations. The associations told us that they had found it useful to be able to consult each other through the working party and that they would wish to continue to do so in this or a similar way.