I do not believe that it is right that children and young people under the age of 16 should be detained in police cells in other than the most extreme of circumstances, so I was pleased to hear that the Howard League have recently spoken out against the practice.
What is even more shocking is that in 2008-9 nearly 12,000 children under 14 were detained in police cells. But the most worrying thing that the Howard League brings to our attention is that there are some children who are being held in police cells for child protection reasons. How many and in what particular circumstances is not made clear, but this is a practice which must stop. It can never be justifiable to imprison children, even for short periods, if they have done nothing other than being found to be in need of protection.