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Police mistreatment of the vulnerable

The ongoing debate concerning the treatment of vulnerable youths while in police custody has been on the news agenda again lately, following the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into Sussex Police's arrest and treatment of an 11-year-old girl with mental health problems.

28 June 2016

The female, known as 'Child H', was arrested by police for low-level offences using handcuffs, leg restraints, and a 'spit hood', and then detained in custody for 60 hours without an appropriate adult being present.

Quite rightly, there was public outrage when this story hit the headlines - not least of all because of the disturbing use
of spit hoods, which, without question, should be banned with immediate effect. But sadly, as a criminal solicitor, a lack of police awareness around the treatment of the most vulnerable in our society is something I see time and
time again.

I recently dealt with a 19-year-old male, diagnosed with Asperger's and learning disabilities, who was reported as missing from his care home. Police detained the male, who had no criminal convictions, and called him a taxi, but he became distressed when he was separated from friend...

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