Vulnerable girl's custody '˜nightmare' - Contact a Family charity responds

Amanda Batten, CEO at Contact a Family said: 'It's unbelievable that Sussex police thought that it was appropriate to restrain a disabled child in this way.

Contact a Family logo
Contact a Family logo

“The IPPC has ruled that police failed to respond effectively to the needs of this vulnerable disabled child and did not call an appropriate adult to support her at any stage during the total 60 hours she was held in police custody.

“It’s also worrying to learn that despite the IPPC recommendations, Sussex police intend to continue the use spithoods.

“It’s vital that more is done to ensure people working in frontline services have the skills to understand and recognise the needs of children with a disability or medical condition so that they are able to protect vulnerable children.

“It is also important that professionals don’t exclude parents in difficult situations like this, but work with them and allow them to support their child. Cases like this will do nothing to help families with disabled children have confidence in the police and could mean they are less likely to approach the police, and other similar services, for help when they need it in the future.”

Contact a Family supports families with disabled children. Visit email [email protected] or call their helpline on 0808 808 3555.

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