Publication Date : Tuesday 28 October 2014 13:36
Children in UK lack trust in police: Parl. report
A UK parliamentary report says a “significant” proportion of British children and young people have a "profound lack of trust" in the police, with some fearing officers.
The report by a parliamentary group for children and the National Children’s Bureau was published on Tuesday.
"For a significant number of children and young people, this experience is a negative one as a victim or suspected offender," the report said.
The inquiry also criticized police encounters with young children, saying they often are characterized by a mutual lack of respect, with officers frequently treating youths as small adults, disregarding their specific needs.
“The inquiry heard that children do not believe that the police are there to protect them, often feel humiliated by the police and are concerned that the police target and undermine them,” the report stated.
“Further evidence cited the fear that children and young people can feel towards the police, which as children get older, often turns into frustration and anger, and ultimately a complete breakdown of trust in police officers,” the report added.
The parliamentary group cited cases of children as young as five being stopped by officers and searched, and youths aged 12 being pinned to the ground face down for setting off fireworks.
The group’s chairman, Doreen Elizabeth Massey, urged authorities to change their practices with children, saying it is critical that during every encounter with youths under the age of 18, the police must treat them as children first.