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Leaving Reform School

Children and the law in the 21st Century

Children under 10 who break the law are treated differently from adults or youths under 18 who commit a criminal offence.  Children under 10 cannot be charged with committing a criminal offence. However, they can be given a Local Child Curfew or a Child Safety Order.  Children under 10 who break the law regularly can sometimes be taken into care, or their parents could be held responsible.


What is a Local Child Curfew?

The police can ban children from being in a public place between 9pm and 6am, unless accompanied by an adult. This is called a Local Child Curfew and can last for up to 90 days.

If a child breaks their curfew, they can be given a Child Safety Order.


What is a Child Safety Order?

If a child has committed an offence or broken a Local Child Curfew, they can be placed under the supervision of a youth offending team. This is called a Child Safety Order.

If a child doesn’t stick to the rules of an order, the court can consider if the child should be taken into care. This is where the child is given another place to live either with another member of the family, a foster family or in a children’s home.