Secure accommodation is where children are placed by local authorities and are not allowed to leave.
The local authority has the power to make an application to place the child in secure accommodation if:
- the child is likely to abscond from such other accommodation; or
- the child is likely to injure himself or herself or other people if the child is kept in any such other accommodation.
The local authority can only keep a child or young person in approved secure accommodation. A child should not be placed in a police cell unless there is no other secure accommodation available and the custody officer considers that it is not practicable to supervise the child unless the child is placed in a cell.
Children aged 10-11 can be sent to a Secure Children’s Home (SCH) if they are refused bail and are remanded to local authority accommodation (RLAA) and a separate court order gives permission to place the child into secure accommodation.1 Children aged 10-11 can be sentenced to custodial sentences but this will happen rarely.
- 1. Applications are made under Children Act 1989 s25 / Criminal Justice Act 1991 s60(3)