- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Children in Police Custody (APPG CPC) is a cross-party group of Members of the Houses of Commons and Lords who work together to raise awareness of children’s experience in policy custody and to develop recommendations that protect and respect children’s rights. Janet Daby MP is the Chair of the APPG.
The APPG CPC held an evidence session in Parliament on Tuesday 25 April titled ‘Hearing from Children and Young People with Experience of Police Custody and Strip Search’, which I attended. The purpose of the session is for members of the APPG CPC to hear evidence from children and young people with experience of policy custody and or strip search. The session provided an important opportunity for their voices to be heard directly by Parliamentarians on these important experiences. Their evidence will also inform the APPG CPC’s Inquiry into Achieving the Rights of Children in Police Custody. Up to six children and young people (aged 16-20) gave evidence. I asked a few questions to the witnesses about their experiences.
Young witnesses gave evidence in a facilitated session. The majority of the children and young people attending are part of the Young Advocates for Youth Justice Project. They all have a lived experience of the youth justice system and want to be part of a movement to drive positive change.
The young witnesses’ evidence addressed key focus areas for the Inquiry:
- Young people’s understanding of their rights, particularly their right to legal advice.
- The child’s experience in a cell and its impact.
- Adult support for children in police custody: appropriate adults and other independent adults in support roles.
- The experience of being strip searched: the conduct of the search, protections in place and its impact.