A secure dock is an enclosed place, usually with glass walls around it, where if a person is accused of a crime they stand or sit in a court.
Often a child is allowed to sit outside the dock next to their parent. A young person will be produced in the secure dock only if:
- They have attained the age of 15; and
- They are produced to the court from custody; and
- He or she is charged with an offence of:
- A violent nature (other than common assault but including witness interference and offences specified in Schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003); or
- A sexual nature; or
- Possession of a real or imitation firearm or other weapon.
A young person will also be produced in the secure dock where the court so orders it of its own volition or upon representations. A secure dock should be used for youths only in appropriate circumstances, and its use should not become the rule, even for those produced in custody.
Only those charged with the most serious offences, or whose behaviour has given rise to serious concern, should be required to appear in the secure dock. The court’s expectation with regards to use of the secure dock should be communicated to those bringing the young person into court from custody, where relevant.