police protection of children

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In cases of real urgency, the police have powers to pick up and hold children for their protection under the Children Act 1989. Where a police officer has reasonable cause to believe that a child would otherwise be likely to suffer significant harm, he may remove that child to suitable accommodation; that child is then said to be have been taken into police protection. Alternatively, the police may take steps to ensure that parents do not remove a child from a hospital, or other place. These powers are similar to those conferred by an emergency protection order but the police have the authority to act without a court order. However, the powers conferred do not include any rights of search and entry, so if the police need to enter premises to search for a child, they will have to seek an emergency protection order. Typically, these powers are used to pick up and hold abandoned children and runaways. Children can be held for up to 72 hours.

Subjects: Law.

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