Thursday 25 April 2013
Another blow for Theresa May: human rights law means 17-year-olds in custody must be treated as children
"A teenager has won a High Court victory over the Home Secretary Theresa May's policy of treating 17-year-olds taken into custody as adults - depriving them of protections offered to those aged 16 and under.
Two judges ruled today that the policy was "incompatible" with human rights law.
Those under 16 are entitled to contact their parents or seek advice and assistance from an independent "appropriate" adult.
Today's ruling was a victory for Hughes Cousins-Chang a sixth-form college student from Tulse Hil, south-east London, who was arrested by Metropolitan Police but subsequently found to be innocent.
He was detained for more than 12 hours and strip searched at a police station after being suspected of a robbery.
A Home Office spokesman said: "The Government believes the welfare and protection of all those held in police custody, especially young people, is extremely important. We accept the court's judgment and will consider the next steps we should take to implement the changes.""