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Teenage curfew considered by police

Bradmore Green
A curfew would mean that under 16s wouldn't be able to be unsupervised in the village between 9pm and 6am.
Camera courtesy of Fujifilm
Hertfordshire Constabulary has warned that curfew restrictions might be used on under 16s found outdoors and unsupervised after 9pm.

The county is surrounded by local authorities currently observing the new restrictions.

Sixteen areas say they will exercise the law. These include neighbouring Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, and the Metropolitan area.

Officers have the power to take teenagers back to their homes and order them to stay there until 6am. If they don’t stay at home they could face fines, or even imprisonment.

Teenagers who are not seen to be causing trouble, but who are simple returning home, could be picked up under the curfew. Police say the fact that they are on their way home will not necessarily be a defence.

The suggestion that the new laws could be used in Hertfordshire was voiced by one of the community police team in St Albans in a response to concerns about youth crime, expressed at a recent community meeting.

“We are also able to invoke curfew orders for children under 16 if we have evidence of nuisance youth issues,” the police spokesperson said.

The Home Office site has a page setting out the various powers currently available to police in their effort to tackle youth crime.

Should police impose a curfew on the under 16s? Is this a fair law, or is it impractical and an infringement of civil liberties? You can discuss this issue in this site’s forum.

14 May 2004

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