New rules for police custody of teenagers


Police Cell Intervieworiginally by: BBC News 
published: 22 August 2013

Extra protection for 17-year-olds in police custody will be put in place by the end of October, the Home Office has said.

Ministers have proposed that parents or guardians must be informed about a 17-year-old’s detention and an “appropriate adult” must be contacted.

It comes after a teenager successfully challenged the law which treats those aged over 17 as adults. The High Court ruled the policy was “incompatible” with human rights law.

The case was brought in April by Hughes Cousins-Chang, who had been kept in custody for 12 hours and strip-searched before being released on police bail.

He was arrested four weeks after his 17th birthday on 19 April last year on suspicion of the robbery of a mobile phone.

His mother, Carrlean Chang, was not aware of his arrest for more than four hours, after the police had denied his request for her to be contacted.

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