The London Assembly Police and Crime Committee has called on the Mayor and borough councils to urgently work together to provide suitable accommodation suitable for children detained in the capital. Despite the fall in the numbers of children arrested, many are still detained in police cells alongside adult offenders.
Supporting the committee's report, Caroline Pidgeon said:
“We examined the provision of healthcare for people in custody four years ago and although significant positive progress has been made, there is still more to do.
“We are especially concerned about the experiences of children being held in police cells. We are disappointed by the apparent lack of action to improve the provision of alternative accommodation for children in custody, especially given the priority MOPAC assigns to child protection.
“We urge the Mayor, MOPAC, London Councils and the London Safeguarding Children Board to urgently find a solution. The current situation of children in police cells overnight is unacceptable and shames our justice system.
“We owe it as a basic matter of human compassion to ensure that vulnerable adults, some with serious mental health issues, receive medical assistance in a timely manner in custody.
“London also needs the right accommodation for detained children, and Londoners need to know that they can help by becoming a volunteer advocate.”