section 46 police protection

Police protection for any child who is reasonably believed to be likely to suffer significant harm, and the police have a duty to inquire into that child’s case.

Section 46(1) of the Children Act 1989 empowers a police officer, who has reasonable cause to believe that a child would otherwise be likely to suffer significant harm, to:

  • move the child to suitable accommodation and keep them there; or
  • take reasonable steps to ensure the child is removed from any hospital, or other place, where they are being accommodated.

A child in these circumstances is referred to as ‘having been taken into police protection’.

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