HC Deb 23 July 1962 vol 663 c950
26. Mr. van Straubenzee

asked the Minister of Health how many young persons aged 14, 15, 16 and 17, respectively, are at present detained at Broadmoor; whether his regulations prescribe any minimum age for such detention; and what special arrangements are made for the accommodation and treatment of such young persons.

Mr. Powell

One, none, 2 and 2, respectively; no; so far as possible they are kept as a group.

Mr. van Straubenzee

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate the surprise that will be engendered by the discovery that there is no statutory minimum age, or no minimum age laid down below which a young person or a child cannot be sent to what is, after all, by its nature a very formidable place, Broadmoor? Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that it is proper in this day and age for a child of 14 to be committed to Broadmoor, under the Mental Health Act? Would it not be proper for him to open discussion with the appropriate legal authorities to see if some minimum age can be laid down?

Mr. Powell

I quite understand the considerations which are in my hon. Friend's mind, and very anxious consideration was given to this case. Where full security, such as is available only at Broadmoor, is necessary, accommodation at Broadmoor must necessarily be accepted. Nevertheless, the progress of this patient, as of all other Broadmoor patients, will be anxiously watched.