The report of a child protection inspection of Nottinghamshire police, published today (11 February), reveals a 16 year-old girl was held in police cells for 52 hours before being taken to hospital. It was only after 44 hours had passed that police officers realised the child had been given no food or water. A paramedic treated the girl before her transfer to hospital. She was one of 11 children detained by Nottinghamshire police under mental health legislation between June 2013 and May 2014. Inspectors described the custody suite as being ‘imposing and an unsuitable environment in which to safeguard a vulnerable child’.
Last week, the Home Affairs Committee in Parliament backed a change to the law to prevent police cells ever being used as a place of safety for poorly children, a move which also has the backing of the Home Secretary Theresa May.