Rise in youth remand may spark review

THE PRE-TRIAL bail and remand process may be reviewed after statistics showed a dramatic increase in the number of boys under 17 being held on remand in England and Wales.

A report, published last week by the Association of Chief Officers of Probation and the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, records an 86 per cent rise from 1992 to 1993 in the number of 15- and 16-year-old boys held in prisons awaiting trial.

The growth has occurred despite the introduction of legislation in the Criminal Justice Act 1991 which aimed to phase out the practice of remanding juveniles in custody.

The report – which makes a number of recommendations including an inter-agency review of bail and remand proceedings – says 1,478 juveniles were held between October 1993 and September 1994.

It also shows a startling 154 per cent growth in the average time spent by juveniles in local prisons and remand centres.