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Children (Court Appearances)

Volume 961: debated on Wednesday 24 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department which areas have not yet implemented the section in the Children and Young Persons Act 1969 requiring consultation between police and local authority social service departments before a child can be brought to court.

Section 5(3) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969, which requires consultation with a local authority before a young person is prosecuted, has not yet been brought into effect. Nevertheless, I understand that it is common practice in most areas for the police to seek the views of the local authority when considering what action to take against a child or young person in respect of an offence. The Government attach importance to consultation in cases concerning juveniles. A joint circular has recently been issued by the Home Office, DHSS, DES and Welsh Office reminding all the agencies which deal with juveniles of the need for inter-service co-operation generally. A copy of this circular (HOC 211/1978) is in the Library of the House.