25th April 2013

In a landmark judgment handed down today, the High Court has ruled that treating 17 year olds in police custody as adults is unlawful.  As the law currently stands, 17 year olds are treated as adults which means their parents are not informed they are in custody and they are not entitled to have the support of a family member or an ‘appropriate adult’ with them during police questioning and that. Full background here.

INQUEST co-director Deborah Coles said:

“INQUEST’s work on the deaths of children in custody has underlined the devastating consequences of treating 17 years in conflict with the law as adults. We welcome this really important judgment that should safeguard the lives of vulnerable children in police custody in the future.”