HC Deb 09 February 1998 vol 306 cc26-7W
Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have died in police cells over the last 10 years in each of Wales's police forces. [27442]

Mr. Michael

The table gives figures on the number of deaths occurring in police stations for each force area in Wales. From the information collected centrally it is not always possible to ascertain how many persons actually died in police cells.

encourage, control or exploit the prostitution of children, are liable in the criminal law. It is, of course an operational matter for the police to investigate any allegations of a crime.

We are satisfied that the law is adequate to deal with the evil of child prostitution. We will, however, consider any particular proposals to tighten the law further in this area if deficiencies are identified.

Mr. Sheerman

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with chief constables on ways in which police forces can more effectively protect children from abusers who entrap them into prostitution. [27174]

Mr. Michael

I have had no specific discussions with chief constables on this particular aspect of child prostitution.

Under section 46(1) of the Children Act 1989, police have powers to take into protective custody any child at risk of significant harm. The child can then be referred to appropriate agencies. The Association of Chief Police Officers has now issued best practice guidelines for the police that emphasise that children caught up in prostitution should normally be treated as victims and in need of help rather than criminals. These guidelines were drawn up in discussion with the Children's Society and other agencies, and the Home Office.