Government proposals to give police powers to take children suspected of anti-social behaviour back to their homes could put children at risk, children’s charity Barnardo’s has warned.
The police “direction power“is being proposed as part of a consultation – More Effective Responses to Anti-Social Behaviour.
“If police send children back to abusive or unsafe households or move them on without consideration for the reasons behind their anti-social behaviour they could be placed in greater danger,” said Anne Marie Carrie, Barnardo’s chief executive.
The children’s charity has also said it should be compulsory for courts to ask for information about the home lives of children who are being sanctioned for anti-social behaviour to see what support, or lack of it, is in place.
“There needs to be much better communication between police and welfare services to ensure we are not putting children at risk and ultimately perpetuating the cycle of offending.”
Carrie said communities needed to prevent offences by understanding their causes rather than just reacting to them.
This kind of welfare mapping, Carrie said, could act as a community trigger to uncover wider needs, such as determining the number of children missing from school and domestic violence rates.
What do you think? Join the debate on CareSpace
Keep up to date with the latest developments in social care. Sign up to our daily and weekly emails