Campaign to stop police locking up children backed by Huppert
A campaign to stop children from being locked up overnight in police cells is being backed by Cambridge MP Julian Huppert as figures reveal six boys and girls are detained every week in the county.
Julian is supporting the campaign by the Howard League for Penal Reform which discovered that during 2011 291 children aged 17 and under, and some as young as 10, were held in police stations by Cambridgeshire Police.
The charity’s research also found that there were 40,716 children detained across England and Wales – an average of 112 detentions a night. But there are fears that the number could be far higher as some of the largest police services in the country were unable to provide figures.
The number of detentions has been falling nationwide, however, as a result of the charity’s campaign.
Julian said: “There can be no justification for holding very young children in a locked cell overnight. This is a frightening experience for these youngsters and could have far-reaching implications for the future. It is time this practice was brought to an end.
“I welcome the research by the Howard League for Penal Reform and their work which has led to the numbers coming down. But there are still too many children who are being badly treated through the criminal justice system and police forces across the country need to look closely at their practices involving young children and make changes.”