The term Police Protection Order is actually a misnomer, though is commonly used. More correctly, the powers police are granted to take children into protective custody are called Police Protection Provisions.
Under Section 46 of the Children Act 1989, the police do not require any sort of Order to remove a child if there is reasonable cause to believe that the child would otherwise be likely to suffer significant harm.
Should the police believe that there is real risk of significant harm being caused to the child in a particular situation, he may exercise the powers afforded him to immediately remove the child to suitable accommodation.The Children Act does not give the police the right to force entry to remove a child, meaning that a warrant may have to be obtained, though the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 does make provision for the police to enter a property to “save life or limb.”
If the child is in hospital or in a place of safety, the police may also take steps to keep the child there.
When Can a Police Protection Order be Undertaken?
A Police Protection Order is to be viewed as a very extreme action and would only be undertaken under the very rare circumstances where there has been no time for an Emergency Protection Order to be issued; but where it is believed there is a very real danger of the child coming to significant harm.
As a Police Protection Order is not strictly an Order, there is no right of appeal.
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A Police Protection Order only allows the police to keep a child in their protection for 72 hours. The child should be appropriately accommodated during that period. A police station is not normally considered to be suitable for the accommodation of a child; but where there is no alternative, the child may be accommodated there, provided they have access to food, drink and toilet facilities. Under normal circumstances, the child would be immediately turned over to the local authority.
A Police Protection Order does not alter in any way parental authority. This remains with the child’s parents or guardians. It is not transferred in any way to the police or the local authority. Only an actual Court Order has the power to transfer parental authority.
Following a the enactment of a Police Protection Order the local authority will begin care proceedings. This will take the form of an enquiry into what actions need to be taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child. Under circumstances where a Police Protection Order has been deemed necessary, there will most likely be an application to the Court for an Emergency Protection Order.Contact Us Now
Brendan Fleming Solicitors are nationally recognized as a leading choice in the area of care work. We are justifiably proud of our expertise and our success rate. We are contracted to the Legal Services Commission for this type of work and are considered to be one of the leading national firms for publicly funded services.
Our principal, Brendan Fleming, has won a reputation for his innovative approach, spearheading many new ways of securing justice for families caught in the care proceedings trap. He is a member of a select children’s panel and recognized and approved by the Law Society.
If your child has been taken under a Police Protection Order, or the local authority has begun care proceedings against you, and you need immediate advice and help, contact Brendan Fleming today.