Outlaw putting children in cells to close Year of Young People

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP and deputy convener of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee Alex Cole-Hamilton today called for the Scottish Government to mark the end of the Year of Young People by accepting amendments to the Age of Criminal Responsibility Bill which would prohibit locking up children in police cells.

Mr Cole-Hamilton has called for a “children’s rights revolution” to ensure that Scotland becomes the best place in the world to grow up.

The amendments come after the committee heard compelling evidence from Lynzy Hanvidge of the traumatic experience of being held in a cell aged 13.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“In June 2018 pictures of children in cages on the United States’ southern border horrified the world.

“But in Scotland, in our own criminal justice system, we are still locking up children and young people in cells designed for adults.

“Evidence shows that being detained in inappropriate conditions can have serious long-term repercussions for children and young people. A police cell is never the right place for a child. There are any number of more appropriate locations for children when they need a place of safety.

“As we come to the end of the Year of Young People, the Scottish Parliament has an opportunity to kick-start a children’s rights revolution.

“If Parliament is prepared to be bold we can deliver on our promise to make Scotland the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up. Anything less and we are letting down the next generation.”

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