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Legal challenge over arrests of 17-year-old teenagers

Legal challenge over arrests of 17-year-old teenagers

The treatment of 17-year-old detainees arrested on suspicion of committing a criminal offence is currently under review as a result of a recent legal challenge, as reported on BBC News this morning.

Caroline Dunne, Consultant in IBB’s Criminal Defence team comments:

“Many have argued that the classification of this age group as ‘adults’ should be dispensed with following the arrest and detention of a 17 year old recently arrested for robbery. He was detained and subsequently released without charge after spending more than 12 hours at a London police station. Whilst a 16 year old would have rights to have a parent or another appropriate adult present, questions have been asked why a year’s difference in age should place an obstacle to this right. Many 17-year-olds show little sign of maturity from their previous year and being faced with the daunting task of spending time at a police station without a familiar face means they are no better equipped with dealing with the experience than when they were 16. Whilst it is fair to argue that more ‘hardened suspects’ need little assistance, it does little to quell the argument that one is only classed an adult when he or she reaches the age of 18 – normally the age of maturity and responsibility. If the legal bid by Just for Kids Law is successful, it will bring the UK in line with International Law that anyone under 18 should be treated as a youth and have the rights and access available to this age group.”

We have one of the leading teams of criminal specialists in West London and the South East. If you are facing a serious criminal charge, contact a member of the IBB’s Criminal Defence team: call us on 08456 381 381 or email criminaldefence@ibblaw.co.uk.