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Criminal Care? · 16 Oct 2019

Unregulated accommodation raised in Parliament

Yesterday the MP for South West Bedfordshire, and a former prisons minister, Andrew Selous, raised the issue of unregulated accommodation for 16 and 17-year-olds in an adjournment debate in the House of Commons. This was an important intervention at a time when so much of Parliamentary attention is focused elsewhere.

Andrew Selous was raising the issues uncovered in recent films by Newsnight, including the story of ‘Amy’ – the young woman we supported in telling her own story in Newsnight’s inaugural film of the series.

We were pleased to see the broad concern across party lines that young people in this accommodation are not always being supported in the way they should be. Andrew Selous mentioned the Howard League and referred to the blog post we published only last week, when Claire described the work of Sharon Deacon as a Quality Assurance Manager at Central Bedfordshire Council.

The current system was described as “completely untenable”

Responding on behalf of the Department for Education, Michelle Donelan, said both she and the Secretary of State saw the current system as “completely untenable”. It is safe to say that change is on the way and the questions now are, when will it come? And what will it look like?

Next month the Howard League’s Policing the Community conference will be hearing from Ofsted, after this blog in response to one of our publications raised similar concerns. We’ll be interested to hear what the regulator thinks.

Andrew Neilson

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