Bedfordshire – National child protection inspection (8548)

Within six months Bedfordshire Police should, in conjunction with children’s social care services, review how it manages the detention of children. As a minimum it should:• ensure that all children are only detained when absolutely necessary and for the absolute minimum amount of time;• ensure that officers and staff in the custody suite assess at an early stage a child’s need for alternative accommodation (secure or otherwise) and work with children’s social care services to achieve the most appropriate option for the child;• ensure that custody staff comply with their statutory duties to complete detention certificates if a child is detained for any reason in police custody following charge;• ensure that custody staff make a record of all actions taken and decisions made on the relevant documentation; and• improve the timeliness of adequate appropriate adult support for children who are arrested.

[on]24th November 2017 [status]awaiting-review[/status][/on][on]28th February 2018 [comment]

The progress of the implementation of this recommendation is currently being monitored by HMICFRS and this record will, in due course, be updated.

[/comment][/on][on]18th December 2018 [comment]

The BED NCPI revisit took place week commencing the 5th November 2018. To date the report is not available, but I am in contact with the inspection lead (Dick Henson) to update this and other open recommendations relevant to the revisit.

[/comment][/on][on]20th May 2019 [comment]

Update from NCPI-

"We saw cases in which the inspectors’ reviews had been made while the detained child was either asleep or in interview. Our review of the detention logs in these cases showed no records of officers having spoken to the child to tell them about the review. Custody staff told us that it was routine practice for a healthcare professional to see all detained children, but we did not see these events recorded on any of the custody records we audited. Bedfordshire Police has not yet sufficiently addressed our recommendation that custody staff should record on the relevant documents all actions they have taken and the decisions they have made".

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