HC Deb 20 February 1908 vol 184 cc994-5
MR. WEDGWOOD (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state what are the regulations with regard to the handcuffing and conveyance of juvenile offenders, both before and after conviction, in London, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) When juvenile offenders have to be removed by the prison authorities, the prison regulations prescribe that they shall not be handcuffed, unless there is a good reason to anticipate an attempt to escape or it is necessary on other grounds to make special provision for safe custody, and then only a leather strap is to be used. Special care is always taken to keep juveniles apart from older offenders. As regards the police forces named in the Question, I have ascertained that it is not the practice of any of them to handcuff juvenile offenders either before or after conviction. The mode of conveyance of juvenile offenders in the hands of the police varies in different police jurisdictions, as the local circumstances and requirements necessarily differ. In the Metropolitan Police district the police are instructed that juvenile offenders shall not be conveyed in prison vans, tramcars, or omnibuses, but that cabs shall be hired when necessary. In Liverpool a special omnibus is provided for such offenders, and in Manchester covered conveyances are used. In Leeds juveniles are conveyed to prison as far as possible in a separate compartment of the prison van. It appears to be the general practice, in the case of children who are ordered to be sent to reformatory or industrial schools, for boys to be conveyed there by police; officers in plain clothes, and for girls to be accompanied by a female warder or police matron.