Lord Carlile and his committee in a recent report suggest the immediate introduction of specialist training for all practitioners within police stations and in youth courts.
Two points arise. First, all practitioners seeking accreditation at police stations have to learn how to deal with vulnerable detainees. That, of course, includes children.
Second, although only able to speak from personal experience of youth courts in the Merseyside area, it would seem that Lord Carlile and his committee are out of touch. Liverpool Youth Court [pictured] has declined over the last few years from being one of the busiest courts on Merseyside to only opening two and a half days a week.
The writers’ experience on many of those days is that the court is virtually empty.
We therefore question the recommendation of the committee that intensive (and no doubt expensive) training should be undertaken. Training is already given to police station representatives and work in youth courts has declined to practically nothing.
Julian S Linskill and Alaric Walmsley, partners, Linskills Solicitors, Liverpool