Tactics to tackle child prisoners scare peer

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The Independent Online

A senior lawyer and Liberal Democrat peer said he had been frightened by techniques used to subdue child prisoners. Lord Carlile of Berriew said he asked custody staff to use "control and restraint" methods on him as part of an independent inquiry into their use on under-18s.

He said: "I found the techniques ranged between the broadly acceptable and the frankly unacceptable."

Lord Carlile said routine strip-searching of children in prison should end and use of physical force severely restricted. If children elsewhere were treated like that, he added, a child-abuse inquiry would be triggered.

The 100-page report, for the Howard League for Penal Reform, disclosed reports that some staff would "bait" children into situations that would lead them to being restrained, so the adult could have sexual gratification.

Lord Carlile said responsibility for under-18s in custody should be handled by the Children's minister, not the Prisons minister.