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Children at the police station

Rights of children who have been arrested and detained.

    Appropriate Adult

    A responsible person aged 18 or over who supports children and vulnerable adults detained at the police station or being interviewed by the police.


    When a police officer uses legal authority to seize a person and take them into custody. This may involve physical restraint.

    Charging Guidance for Police and Prosecutors

    Guidelines that the police and prosecutors use when deciding whether or not a person should be charged with an offence, given a caution or have ‘no further action’ (NFA).

    Police Station

    A police station is the place that the police are lawfully allowed to hold a person when they take away their freedom, often in a cell. A person can also be questioned at a police station this is called an interview.

    Section 38 beds

    Children should never be kept in the police station overnight after they have been charged with a criminal offence. Children refused bail should be transferred from the police station to local authority accommodation.