HC Deb 09 June 1998 vol 313 cc482-3W
Mr. Clappison

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his most recent estimate of the period he intends to set as a time limit between arrest and first appearance in court for a person under 18 years under section 22A(1) of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 as amended by section 41 of the Crime and Disorder Bill. [44348]

Mr. Michael

A decision on the level at which the statutory time limits should be set will be taken after piloting and once we have assessed the impact of new measures contained in the Crime and Disorder Bill[Lords] on time taken through the criminal justice system. Our plans for introducing a statutory time limit between arrest and first appearance in court, and for introducing statutory time limits for other stages in proceedings for a person under 18 years, are set out in chapter 10 of the White Paper `No More Excuses—A New Approach To Tackling Youth Crime in England and Wales' (CM3809: November 1997). We intend first to pilot certain of the procedural changes introduced by the Crime and Disorder Bill, in particular provisions in section 46 (powers of magistrates' courts exercisable by single justice) and section 47 (early administrative hearings). Sites for these 'Narey' pilot areas were announced in the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth, North (Mr. Rapson) on 3 June 1998, Official Report, column 219. The six areas are: Tyneside; Croydon; Blackburn and Burnley; Northamptonshire; North Staffordshire; and North Wales. Two of these areas—Blackburn and Northamptonshire—will also operate the final warning scheme and youth offending teams, since these arrangements will have an effect on speed through the system and procedures in young offender cases. We aim to begin the pilots in October this year to run for six months. These will be followed by pilots of statutory time limits which we aim to begin in autumn 1999 and run for 12 months. A decision on the level at which time limits should be set, including the time limit from arrest and the date of first appearance in court, will be made for pilot purposes in the light of the initial 'Narey' pilots and for national rollout in the light of the statutory time limit pilots.

Ms Keeble

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many juveniles have been held overnight on remand in police custody in police stations in England and Wales, broken down by(a) police authority and (b) charges, during the last six months. [44671]

Mr. Michael

Information on the remand of juveniles in police custody in police stations is not collected centrally.

Section 38(6) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 requires arrested juveniles under the age of 17 who are detained by the police to be moved to local authority accommodation unless:

  1. (i) the custody officer certifies that, by reason of such circumstances as are specified in the certificate, it is impractical to move the youth; or
  2. (ii) in the case of a juvenile who has attained the age of 12, no local authority security accommodation is available and holding the juvenile in other local authority accommodation would be inadequate to protect the public from serious harm from him.