Arrested Juvenile – amendment to legal definition
The upper age limit in the definition of arrested juvenile in section 37(15) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) has been raised from 16 to 17 years.
When did this change take place?
On 26 October 2015, the definition of arrested juvenile under section 37(15) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) was amended by section 42 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. This provision was commenced by The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (Commencement No. 3 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2015
What are the effects of this amendment?
This means that for the purposes of section 38 of PACE (Duties of custody officer after charge):
- the additional grounds for authorising detention after charge set out in subsection (1)(b); and
- the requirement in subsection (6) to move a juvenile who has been detained after charge to local authority accommodation pending appearance at court, apply to any juvenile charged with an offence who appears to be under the age of 18.
What were the provisions prior to this change?
The statutory amendment supersedes the current provisions of PACE Code C which refer to sections 37(15) and 38 of PACE. These are:
- Paragraph 1.5A(a) and Notes for Guidance 1L and 1M
- Paragraph 16.7 and Note for Guidance 16D.
Until a revised code is issued, references which indicate that the maximum age limit for transfer to local authority accommodation is 16 no longer apply.
Are there any related amendments to the law?
There is also a corresponding amendment to The Children (Secure Accommodation) Regulations 1991 (as amended), Regulation 6.
This modifies section 25 of the Children Act 1989 with regard to placing children detained under section 38(6) of PACE in secure accommodation and the considerations to be applied.
The amendment simply applies the modifications previously applicable – children under the age of 17 to children who are under the age of 18.