Skip Content

Publications · Young People

Ending the criminalisation of children in residential care. Briefing two: best practice in policing

  • ISBN: 978-1-911114-21-5

  • Published: 2017

  • Pages: 12

  • Publisher: The Howard League for Penal Reform


Ending the criminalisation of children in residential care. Briefing two best practice in policing

This is the second briefing paper published as part of the Howard League’s programme to end the criminalisation of children in residential care.

Police forces are receiving a high number of call-outs from some children’s homes, a significant proportion of which they regard as inappropriate, which drain their resources and increase the risk of children in care being criminalised.

This report finds that police take their safeguarding duties extremely seriously, but forces are also spending considerable time and resources dealing with minor issues in children’s homes that should not be brought to their attention.  Many police forces are taking measures to solve the problem, by working closely with children’s homes and local authorities to reduce unnecessary call-outs and prevent vulnerable children being drawn into the criminal justice system.

The report has explored how good practice in the policing of children’s homes can significantly reduce the unnecessary criminalisation of vulnerable children and demand on police resources.  Real, lasting change requires strong leadership and commitment to embedding child-focused policing through forces, at every level.


  • Join the Howard League

    We are the world's oldest prison charity, bringing people together to advocate for change.

    Join us and make your voice heard
  • Support our work

    We safeguard our independence and do not accept any funding from government.

    Make a donation