Section 38(6) Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act 1984 places a duty on the police to transfer children who have been refused bail to local authority accommodation rather than keeping them in the police station overnight. These are often referred to as PACE beds or section 38 beds.
The custody officer must arrange for the child to be transferred to local authority accommodation unless:
- It is impracticable for them to do so;
- If the child is over 12, there is no secure accommodation available and keeping them in other local authority accommodation would not be adequate to protect the public from serious harm.