Witnessing the arrest of a parent is often traumatic
Police raids on family homes are often an uncomfortable and frightening process for young people and little regard is given to the children’s needs.
Police forces can mitigate trauma by ensuring that an arresting officer has child-specific training:
• A more sensitive approach to arrest when dealing with families.
• Providing a safe place for children to go when houses are being searched.
• Provide families with information leaflets (designed by young people).
• Training of police to be more child-focused.
• If police arrest parents when children are present they should have some kind of special training in child’s needs. Possibly one member of the police stays behind/or comes back to give information to the children and parent.
All governments and/or state bodies should review their arrest and search policies and procedures in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), giving due consideration to manner of an arrest, the delivery of a timely, age-appropriate explanation to the child at the point of arrest and the means by which the child and their family access support during and subsequent to an arrest.
For further information on the impact of witnessing the arrest of a parent on a child, read the EU funded special edition newsletter focused on judges and police.
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