HC Deb 25 March 1976 vol 908 cc242-3W
Mr. Kilroy-Silk

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to publish the White Paper on the Children and Young Persons Act.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

The Government's response to the Expenditure Committee's Report on the working of the Children and Young Persons Act is in an advanced state of preparation. It is hoped to publish the Government's observations in the near future.

Mr. Kilroy-Silk

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will call for a report from the Chief Constable of Lancashire on the specific circumstances in which 7-year-olds have been interrogated in police cells;

(2) if he will undertake an urgent review of the working of the Juvenile Liaison Scheme; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

Juvenile liaison schemes have operated successfully in various parts of the country in the last 20 years and provide one means by which police officers can help both children and their parents. I share my hon. Friend's disquiet at the accounts of circumstances in Lancashire to which he has drawn attention; it would be regrettable if mistakes or shortcomings in one force discredited the general value of such schemes. I have therefore arranged for one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary to make a full report to me on the operation of the scheme in Lancashire. When I have received and studied this report, I shall consider whether there is a need for me to issue general guidance on the subject to other police forces.