Home > Civil Rights & Law > Rights If Your Child is Arrested

Rights If Your Child is Arrested

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 2 Dec 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Arrested Rights Police Criminal

There are a number of rights that apply specifically to children under the age of 17 who are arrested. Parents should be aware of these rights that begin as soon as the child is arrested.

Child Arrest in the UK

Just over 200,000 children are arrested in the UK each year, according to Home Office statistics. The average age of the children arrested is between 10 and 17 years old. Children at this age will usually not be aware of their rights when arrested. It is important that parents, guardians and anyone who is responsible for children know the rights children have when arrested. These rights begin when the child is arrested and continue to the court proceedings stage.

Informing a Parent When a Child Is Arrested

If a child is arrested for committing a criminal offence and they are under 17, the police must inform the parents as soon as possible. Children who are arrested should be made aware of their rights when they are first brought to the police station. One of these rights will be that a parent or guardian can be informed of the arrest straight away. Children under the age of 17 also have the right to have an adult present at the police station. Children should also be allowed to talk to this adult in private if they wish to do so.

Children’s Rights and Police Interviews

The police should not begin interviews if the child has requested that an adult such as a parent is present. If no adult is present the police may interview the child under certain circumstances. It may be the case that delaying an interview would mean that further crime could be committed such as harm to another person. If this is the case then the police may well interview the child in the presence of an appropriate adult. Steps should be taken first to contact the child’s parent before the interview takes place.

Detention Time Limits at a Police Station

If the police believe a child has committed an offence they can hold the child for 24 hours. But this is not the maximum time period a child can be held for. A further 12 hours can be added to the 24 hour period if the crime committed is of a serious nature. The police can actually ask the court for an extended period of detention. But this extended period cannot be longer than 96 hours before the child is charged with an offence.

Searches at the Police Station

The police do have the right to search a child under the age of 18 at the police station. If all clothing is to be removed during the search an adult of the same sex must carry out this search. Intimate searches can only be held in private where no one else can see the search. The child does have the right to have an adult such as a parent present during the search. This search can be conducted at any time whilst the child is held at the police station.

Obtaining Fingerprints from Children

The police can take fingerprints and photographs if the child is over 16. If the child is under 14 the police will need permission from the parent to proceed with fingerprinting. Children aged 15 and 16 will need to agree along with the parent’s agreement for fingerprinting to take place. Children over the age of 16 will be required to submit to fingerprints and photographs even if they have not agreed.

Intimate Samples Taken By the Police

If the police are intending to take hair and saliva samples then they must have the agreement of the child and parent if no charges have been made. If charges have been made then these samples can be taken without agreement from the child or parent. Blood and urine samples cannot be taken unless both the parent and the child have agreed to this. Even if the child has been charged they cannot be forced to give these intimate samples.

Children Under 17 Years and Court Proceedings

If a child is 10 years old then they cannot be charged with an offence and taken to court. Children over 10 years old but under 17 years will be treated as a young offender and criminal cases will be dealt with by the youth courts. If the child has committed an offence and an adult was also involved then the court proceedings can be held in either the magistrate’s or the Crown courts.

The expertise of a legal advisor should always be sought if a child has been arrested. The Children’s Law Centre will be able to provide free help and advice to parents of children who have been arrested or charged with a criminal offence. Learn about stop, search and arrest rights, here.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Can a child under 17 be arrested and charged with distributing an indecent photo of another child the same age without their permission and for malicious reasons??
Mf - 2-Dec-16 @ 10:08 PM
My 14 year old daughter has been arrested and takin to runcorn police station for drunk and disordly I live in huyton got no way to get there what do I do
jo - 2-Dec-16 @ 7:46 PM
Hi my niece is16 and was arrested at like 430 pm for stealing at target me or her mother have not spoken with her or the police they didn't even call to say she was arrested target called before the. Cops even got there and the cops still haven't let her call or called us and it's now the 3:30am as I am writing this is this legal cause she hasn't had a call or neither did the police call me
Tasha - 29-Nov-16 @ 8:31 AM
my sisters have said that i sexual abused them as kids ages 7-9 iwas about 12-14 it was in the 70s and as i see it inapropate behaveiour as a adult at 52 now could they have me charged with sexual assault , i did not know this was wrong at the time it was just touching and simulated sex . i know that sounds bad but i was akid at the time and did not know any better i am now just sitting here waiting for the police to turn up please can you advise me about this .
pdc - 20-Nov-16 @ 1:41 PM
My son's currently been held over 8 hours he's been interviewed 2 hours ago the cps are deciding what to do when do they have to let him go
Jonarch - 17-Nov-16 @ 10:07 PM
Wozzac - Your Question:
My 14 yr old son was arrested for allegedly threatening another child with a knife and demanding their phone and money of which he got neither.where does he stand if he is charged with this and found guilty what will the courts do to him? Will he be locked up?

Our Response:
We don't know how this will be viewed but knife crime is viewed very seriously by the police/courts. More information is available here
CivilRightsMovement - 10-Nov-16 @ 12:55 PM
My 14 yr old son was arrested for allegedly threatening another child with a knife and demanding their phone and money of which he got neither.where does he stand if heis charged with this and found guilty what will the courts do to him? Will he be locked up?.
Wozzac - 9-Nov-16 @ 10:38 PM
My 15 year old son was arrested for something that someone else did. At the time of the arrest one copper slammed in to the bonnet and punched him in the back which was seen by numerous people. How do I go about reporting this further than the police ?
Lw - 26-Oct-16 @ 11:26 PM
My son is 10 and was handcuffed and takes to the police station before I was ever informed. Is this legal
Me - 20-Oct-16 @ 11:40 PM
My 14 year old son has jusy beeen arrested for killing an adult but it was in self defence. The other adult tried to attack him with a knife and my son stabbed him in defence. What can happen to him ?
mmary - 20-Oct-16 @ 7:35 PM
If my child was arrested for hitting me .. Shouldn't I be informed of her charges still and is it ok that the judge the next day at her first and so far only court date so far we had ordered drug assesmemts for her to go to in jdc juveniledetention place they are holding her right now at ..she hasn't been sentenced or anything or had an actual court date other than the day after she got into trouble and that was just to determine if she gets out or not but still is order her to do drug classes when she's never been in trouble or far as I know drugs but is ordered that
Kim - 20-Oct-16 @ 2:35 AM
Can a case be time barred after ten years? Or, is it until the victim turns 18 and has a maximum of three years to bring the case.
Shay - 14-Oct-16 @ 8:33 PM
my 14 year old daughter has had to give her fingerprints in.She is getting charged with assult but the girl was claiming she was hurt but ther was no prood to show she was hurt and yet my daughter was not involved, the police also have 2 statements that are saying she is involved, shes got court coming up soon, what can happen
khaaan - 3-Oct-16 @ 10:56 PM
Lemon - Your Question:
My 14 year old step daughter has been accused of sexual assault on her female friend they are no longer friends this accusation came about months after they fell out, she is not guilty but the police are saying they'll arrest her to interview her is this the cAse ?

Our Response:
She can be arrested if the police feel there are sufficient grounds to do so as she is above the age of criminal responsibility. She can be asked to attend a voluntary interview rather than being arrested.
CivilRightsMovement - 27-Sep-16 @ 10:24 AM
My brother is 17 years old, he was arrested for having a warrant because he didn't show up to a court he had. He had been living in Colorado by himself for about 2 years. Our mom lives in Mexico and I live In Washington. I have a permission document letter that says I am in charge of him. Will this help me get him out?? Im 22 by the way..
Lizanette - 25-Sep-16 @ 10:13 PM
My 14 year old step daughter has been accused of sexual assault on her female friend they are no longer friends this accusation came about months after they fell out,she is not guilty but the police are saying they'll arrest her to interview her is this the cAse ?
Lemon - 25-Sep-16 @ 10:19 AM
CK - Your Question:
My 12 year old step brother got mad at my grandmother, so he decided he was going to set paper on fire and place it under one of the cars next to our house before he got on the school bus. There was also a propane tank close by the car. I know he intended to try and kill us all by blowing us up. He has also hit my grandmother multiple times and she has cancer. His mother refuses to do anything about it. Is there anything that the police can do?

Our Response:
Yes - at 12 your brother is above the minimum age of criminal responsibility. The polcie should be made aware of this kind of behaviour...both the violence/domestic abuse and the arson.
CivilRightsMovement - 23-Sep-16 @ 2:17 PM
My 12 year old step brother got mad at my grandmother, so he decided he was going to set paper on fire and place it under one of the cars next to our house before he got on the school bus. There was also a propane tank close by the car. I know he intended to try and kill us all by blowing us up. He has also hit my grandmother multiple times and she has cancer. His mother refuses to do anything about it. Is there anything that the police can do?
CK - 22-Sep-16 @ 12:11 PM
My son is 13 and he has said 3 racist things to another boy in his school, his family called the police and I am wondering can he get assrested for this if so how long
Rice - 20-Sep-16 @ 10:12 PM
My 13yr old boy has just been stopped by the police as the bus driver assumed that he had pressed the emergency stop button on the bus, all his friends ran off but he stayed, as he explained to me "why would i run off if im not guilty" even at his young age he is 6ft 1. The police officer said she felt threatened by his size even though she had already asked his age, so she knew he was only 13. She man handled my son to the point of also grabbing his skin as she took hold of him by the collar with both hands, My son explained that even though she said she felt threatened as she was only tiny, my son explained that she used alot of force to grab ahold of him & he could feel her strength. When she had hold of him my son asked the officer to please let go as she was hurting him. Her reply was " im not a knob head, your a knob". He explained that he did have an attitude with her, but he said he didnt swear at her or say anything un toward. The police officer put him in the back of her van & brought him home. I was on a late shift so his dad was at home. The officer spoke to his dad, whilst still shouting & raising her voice at my son. My son explained that he sat with his hand up asking "can i speak please" . The officer would not let him speak. Im so glad i was not present to witness this . I need to know if this is acceptable & most of all if this is right. & at which point wheremy sons rights taken away.
Lotty - 19-Sep-16 @ 10:35 PM
Can i get arrested for assault on my younger sister and my dad if I'm 16 and for how long?
Angel. - 16-Sep-16 @ 10:55 PM
Worriedmum - Your Question:
My 17 year old son was arrested with cannabis, the police said he may be charged with possession with intent to supply,he was bailed till next month. Haven't heard anymore from the police but we got a letter saying he has to go to triage and reparation, does this mean the police are not going to charge him with the offence?

Our Response:
Not necessarily - it depends on whether he accepts it/is accepted onto it. There is more information on the triage system here
CivilRightsMovement - 14-Sep-16 @ 2:14 PM
My 17 year old son was arrested with cannabis, the police said he may be charged with possession with intent to supply,he was bailed till next month. Haven't heard anymore from the police but we got a letter saying he has to go to triage and reparation, does this mean the police are not going to charge him with the offence?
Worriedmum - 12-Sep-16 @ 9:41 PM
My 14 year old has been bullied he whole life at an extent wer th police was involved the school hasnt been doing anything she has self harmed nd had suicidal thoughts she took a baseball bat to school nd hit the boy who mde her life miserable i dont knw whts happening will she be charged will it be on the system will she get into deep trouble for it as her reasons to her doing this re understandable
Sana1221 - 5-Sep-16 @ 8:55 PM
My little brother is fourteen and he punched a ten year old will my brother go to juvenile detention for a long timeor just hold him for three days I'm so confused..
brucie - 2-Sep-16 @ 2:35 AM
Nurseontherun00 - Your Question:
My daughter has been bullied from 4th yr primary by a 6th grade. Same 6th grade is still making her life hell despite being in secondary school. Hand gestures, name calling- including calling me names. Where do I stand?

Our Response:
She (or you) should report this to school management. Most schools have strict policies relating to bullies.
CivilRightsMovement - 17-Aug-16 @ 1:59 PM
My daughter has been bullied from 4th yr primary by a 6th grade. Same 6th grade is still making her life hell despite being in secondary school. Hand gestures, name calling- including calling me names. Where do I stand?
Nurseontherun00 - 16-Aug-16 @ 11:56 PM
a guy said he wanted to "f*** me everyday" continuously for a few weeks through a code that only he and his buddies knew and understood. they would laugh about it and eventually I found out. he stopped saying it after I found out, and we're cool now, but out of curiosity could he be charged for anything? we're both 12.
curious - 30-Jul-16 @ 4:46 AM
Im 15 and i have threatened someone. Apparently i have been reported to the police what will and could happen?
JC - 26-Jul-16 @ 6:32 PM
My son 13 was asked to be voluntary interviewed by police about a trespass/ burglary of empty care home I took him to be interviewed and he admitted he was involve. The pc says it would go to youth triage. The pc has phoned & asked me yesterday to take him in for finger prints dna & photos today. Do the polic legally have to take them? Can i refuse them taking prints & dna? he was not arrested I took him in voluntary for the interview.
Lj - 23-Jul-16 @ 11:14 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • VexatiousVi
    Re: The Police and Your Civil Rights
    I wish to blow the whistle on fraud and corruption involving two high profile publicly elected officials, my local council,…
    3 December 2016
  • VexatiousVi
    Re: The Police and Your Civil Rights
    I wish to blow the whistle on fraud and corruption involving two high profile publicly elected officials, my local council,…
    3 December 2016
  • CivilRightsMovement
    Re: Sexual Harassment and Your Rights
    tommydonald - Your Question:My girl friend is being treated unfairly now sense her boss found out that she's taken and has…
    2 December 2016
  • tommydonald
    Re: Sexual Harassment and Your Rights
    My girl friend is being treated unfairly now sense her boss found out that she's taken and has no chances getting with her,…
    1 December 2016
  • Tasha
    Re: Rights If Your Child is Arrested
    Hi my niece is16 and was arrested at like 430 pm for stealing at target me or her mother have not spoken with her or the…
    29 November 2016
  • MaxSup
    Re: Civil Partnership Rights
    My sons, in their early twenties, are marijuana users. The police arrested them for possession in January this year & released them on…
    25 November 2016
  • Dee
    Re: The Police and Your Civil Rights
    A raid took place at my home, police did not shout before they started breaking my door in. Once inside one female officer…
    25 November 2016
  • Savvy
    Re: The Police and Your Civil Rights
    On a journey to work on quiet roads last weekend I and a couple of other cars over took.I in turn over took 3 cars in a 17…
    24 November 2016
  • CivilRightsMovement
    Re: Enforcing Your Civil and Consumer Rights
    Maruci - Your Question:I bought a second hand car from a trader less the 3 months ago; When driving the car home I…
    22 November 2016
  • Maruci
    Re: Enforcing Your Civil and Consumer Rights
    I bought a second hand car from a trader less the 3 months ago; When driving the car home I realized there was a…
    21 November 2016
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the CivilRightsMovement website. Please read our Disclaimer.