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UN submission: The policing of children in England and Wales and international human rights standards

Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child

Drawing on research conducted by our coalition in recent years, StopWatch has recently submitted a report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in relation to the fifth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In June, the United Nations Committee will be discussing in Geneva its listed issues raised with the Government of the United Kingdom and and will present its recommendations. StopWatch highlights concerns with provisions contained in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and its research provides updated information in regard to stop and searching and strip searching children and the use of Tasers against minors.  

Key Findings of StopWatch report:

  • In 2013-2014, data provided by 18 forces (out of 43) shows there were 99.402 searches of under 18s that resulted in the arrest of 10.808 children. This ‘success’ rate is only 11% for minors and is even lower than the overall arrest rate of stop and search.
  • In 2015, a total of 8 police forces (out of 43) recorded 75 strip searches of minors.
  • From January 2014 to November 2015, the Metropolitan Police Service used Taser guns against 185 minors. Amongst these, 16 times were against children aged 14 years old or younger. In London, Tasers have been fired 10 times against minors, including once against a 13 year old.
  • From January 2014 to December 2015, 28 out of 43 police forces in England and Wales (those who provided a response to StopWatch FOI requests) have used Taser guns against minors more than 407 times, including 57 times against those 14 years old or younger. Amongst these deployments, Tasers have been fired 34 times, bringing the total number of Tasers fired against children to 44.

To read the full report see the attached document below.

In the coming weeks StopWatch will publish full briefings on tasers and strip search.

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