child safety order

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An order made by a magistrates' court that enables local authorities to intervene when a child under the age of 10 (who cannot be prosecuted in criminal proceedings by virtue of his age) behaves antisocially or disruptively. The order was introduced by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. An application for an order is made by a local authority on the grounds that the child has committed, or is in danger of committing, acts that could constitute an offence were he over 10 years old or that have caused, or are likely to cause, harassment, alarm, or distress. The requirements imposed under the order are a matter for the court and might include, for example, attendance at school, avoiding contact with disruptive and older children, and not visiting such areas as shopping centres unsupervised. The purpose of the requirements imposed is either to ensure that the child receives appropriate care, protection, and support and is subject to proper control, or to prevent the repetition of the kind of behaviour that led to the child safety order being made. Breach of the order may lead to the court making a care order in respect of the child. See also parenting order.

Subjects: Law.

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