Now curfew laws can be applied to teenagers

2 Aug 01
Councils and the police can now impose curfews on children as old as 15 if they deem them anti-social, following new laws that came into effect on August 1.

03 August 2001

The local child curfew orders legislation, included in the 2001 Criminal Justice and Police Act, extends the 1998 initiative that applies to children under ten. The new law also allows the police to apply for local curfew schemes.

Local curfew orders can be applied to areas where children are known to congregate and indulge in disorderly behaviour. Children found to be breaching the curfew are taken home to their parents or to a safe place.

Home Office minister Beverley Hughes said: 'Groups of young people involved in anti-social behaviour can cause fear and distress. These orders are another tool that police and local authorities can use to tackle this behaviour.'

Hughes explained why police can now apply for the curfew schemes: 'This will ensure that the orders are used for maximum effect, utilising officers' detailed knowledge of known problem groups and areas.'

The extended curfew orders last for 90 days, can be renewed and are enforceable between 9pm and 6am. They mirror a scheme launched in Scotland in 1997 that led to a 40% cut in juvenile crime in some areas.

Henry McLeish, then Scottish Office home affairs minister, said of the project run by South Lanarkshire Council and Strathclyde Police: 'The purpose of the initiative was to enhance the basic right of children to be free from danger in their own environment.'


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