Secure accommodation

In exceptional circumstances, children over the age of 12 may be sent to a place where they are locked in and can’t leave to keep them safe. This happens after the child has been charged with an offence while in police custody and refused bail.

The local authority must believe that one or more of the following welfare criteria apply:

  • the child has a history of escaping and is likely to escape from any other type of accommodation;
  • the child is likely to suffer significant harm if they escape; and
  • the child is likely to injure themselves or others if they are kept in any other type of accommodation.

It is important that the child is involved in the decision to be sent to secure accommodation. The Concordat on children in custody provides guidance to help police forces and local authorities in England understand their responsibilities for children in custody.

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