Child custody restraint rethink


The government has promised a £4.9m “overhaul” of the way restraint techniques are used on children in custody in England and Wales. But force may still be used in “exceptional circumstances”, it says.

Ministers acted after independent experts described reports by inmates of unauthorised violent methods, that they said amounted to “assault” by staff.
Their review was set up after criticism at the inquests of two teenagers who died at secure centres. The report, by social services professionals Peter Smallridge and Andrew Williamson, found six children needed hospital treatment for serious injuries last year after being restrained.

It said centres had not been held “sufficiently accountable” for their use of violent restraint techniques. Earlier this year, MPs and peers on the Joint Human Rights Committee demanded an end to the use of painful restraint methods on youngsters.

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15th December 2008

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