§ Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is her Department's policy on the provision of secure accommodation for 15 and 16-year-old offenders by social service authorities.
§ Mr. Bowis
Secure accommodation provided in community homes is for any child being looked after by a local authority who meets the statutory criteria for restriction of liberty, whether as an offender or as a non-offender.
We are working closely with local authorities to ensure that sufficient additional secure accommodation is made available to ensure that the practice of remanding 15 and 16-year-old alleged offenders to penal establishments can be abolished as quickly as practicable.