Publication - Advice and guidance

Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019 - part 4 – Police Investigatory and Other Powers: statutory guidance on the use of a place of safety

This statutory guidance contains information for the Police Service of Scotland and local authorities in relation to the use of the the power conferred by the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019 to take a child under the age of 12 to a place of safety.

Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019 - part 4 – Police Investigatory and Other Powers: statutory guidance on the use of a place of safety
3. Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting on the Use of Places of Safety

3. Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting on the Use of Places of Safety

3.1 Section 32 of the Act requires the Scottish Ministers to present the Scottish Parliament with a report setting out information on the exercise of section 28 powers on an annual basis.

3.2 Monitoring and reporting on use of the power will ensure that provisions are being limited to those circumstances where "it is necessary to do so to protect any other person from an immediate risk of significant harm or further such harm to others".

3.3 To support the development of the annual report on the exercise of section 28 powers, Police Scotland must ensure processes are in place to gather the following information:

  • Reason for seeking place of safety – to include the following details:
  • - nature and circumstances of the incident;
  • - evidence of child's behaviour causing risk of significant harm to others;
  • - evidence that exercising the section 28 power was necessary to protect others from an immediate risk of significant harm;
  • Type and location of place of safety;
  • Length of time at place of safety;
  • Whether the child was kept in police station and, if so, reasons why;
  • Whether the child was kept in a cell within police station and, if so, why, for how long and who was with them.

Information Sharing Agreement

3.4 An information sharing agreement will be set up between Scottish Government officials and Police Scotland regarding the most appropriate mechanism to share and collect relevant data.

Preparing/Publishing Report

3.5 Scottish Ministers are required to prepare a report in relation to the information recorded by Police Scotland. The first report must be laid before the Scottish Parliament after the first year of section 28 being in force and then annually after that. The frequency of the reporting period may be amended by regulations (subject to affirmative procedure).


Contact

Email: youth.justice@gov.scot