§ [Nos. 140 and 141]
§ After Clause 56, insert the following new clause:
§ Recovery of children in care of local authorities
§ .—(1) This section applies to a child—
- (a) who is in the care of a local authority under section 1 of the Children Act 1948; and
- (b) with respect to whom there is in force a resolution under section 2 of that Act; and
- (c) who—
- (i) has run away from accommodation provided for him by the local authority under Part II of the said Act; or
- (ii) has been taken away from such accommodation contrary to section 3(8) of the said Act: or
- (iii) has not been returned to the local authority as required by a notice served under section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 on a person under whose charge and control the child was, in accordance with section 13(2) of the said Act of 1948, allowed to be.
§ (2) If a justice of the peace is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for believing that a person specified in the information can produce the child to whom this section applies, he may issue a summons directed to the person so specified and requiring him to attend and produce the child before a magistrates' court acting for the same petty sessions area as the justice.
§ (3) Without prejudice to the powers under subsection (2) above, if a justice of the peace is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for believing that a child to whom this section applies is in premises specified in the information, he may issue a search warrant authorising a person named in the warrant, being an officer of the local authority in whose care the child is. to search the premises for the child; and if the child is found, he shall be placed in such accommodation as the local authority may provide for him under Part II of the Children Act 1948.
§ (4) A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a summons under subsection (2) shall, without prejudice to any liability 1286 apart from this subsection, be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £100.")
§ Insert the following new Clause—
§ (2) In subsection (1) of the said section 32, paragraph (b) shall cease to have effect.
(3) After subsection (1) of the said section 32, there is inserted the following subsection:
(1A) If a child or young person is absent from a place of safety to which he has been taken in pursuance of section 2(5). 16(3) or 28 of this Act without the consent of—
§ (4) In subsection (2) of the said section 32. after the words "subsection (1)" there are inserted the words "or (IA)", and for the words "twenty pounds" there is substituted the word "£100".
(5) After the said subsection (2), the following subsections are inserted—
(2A) Without prejudice to its powers under subsection (2) of this section, a magistrates' court (within the meaning of that subsection) may, if it is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for believing that a person who is absent as mentioned in subsection (I) or (1A) of this section is in premises specified in the information, issue a search warrant authorising a constable to search the premises for that person.
(2B) A court shall not issue a summons or search warrant under subsection (2) or (2A) of this section in any case where the person who is absent is a person to whom subsection (IA) of this section applies, unless the information referred to in the said subsection (2) or (2A) is given by the person referred to in subsection (1A)(a) or (b) (as the case may be) of this section.".
§ (6) In subsection (3) of the said section 32, for the words "one hundred pounds" there is substituted the word"£400".1287
§ (7) In subsection (4) of the said section 32, for the words "subsection (1)" there are substituted the words "subsections (1), (IA) and (2A)", and for the words "that subsection" there are substituted the words " subsection (1)".")
§ 9.10 p.m.
§ Lord WINTERBOTTOM
My Lords, with your Lordships' permission, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 140 and 141.
These Amendments relate to the retrieval of the child. We are again treating Scotland separately. Amendment No. 140 introduces new powers which will enable local authorities to effect the recovery of children in their care and subject to parental rights and duties resolutions, who have either run away or been taken away from the place at which they are required by the local authority to live. The Amendment also covers the recovery of children in the same category who have been allowed by the local authority to live with a parent, guardian, relative or friend, and have not been returned by that person to the care of the local authority on being given written notice to do so in accordance with Section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963.
Amendment No. 141 adds to the existing powers of recovery of a child or young person who is absent without authority from the place at which he is required to live. The Amendment also gives the court an additional power, on information given under oath, to issue a search warrant to enable a constable to search premises where the absentee is believed to be, and if he is found the constable will then be able to use his existing powers to return the absentee to the place from which he is absent. The Amendment also extends the scope of Section 32 to cover absences from all places of safety. The section now in the 1969 Act covers absences from places of safety which are community homes, but does not cover absences from other places of safety such as hospitals, surgeries, police stations or any other suitable place.
§ Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendments.—(Lord Winterbottom.)