HC Deb 03 May 1983 vol 42 cc53-4W
Mr. Kilroy-Silk

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he intends to lay before the House regulations governing the restriction of liberty of children.

Mr. Newton

During the debate on 21 October on the Criminal Justice Bill—[Vol. 29, c. 561]—I undertook that we would do our best to bring regulations forward by late spring. The Secure Accommodation Regulations 1983 are being laid before the House today to come into effect on 24 May, the same day as part 1 of the Criminal Justice Act 1982. The new regulations specify 72 hours as the maximum period beyond which a child in local authority care may not have his liberty restricted without the authority of a juvenile court. They also specify three months as the maximum for which a juvenile court may authorise a child to be kept in security in the first instance, and empower it to authorise further periods not exceeding six months from time to time. These authorisations are permissive; they will not oblige a local authority to use secure accommodation.