Boy forced to sleep in Kettering police station because authorities couldn't find him a bed for the night

A child taken into police protection had to sleep on the floor of a police office because social workers couldn't find an emergency placement for him.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 2:40 pm
The boy had to bed down at the force's NAB in Cherry Hall Road.

A concerned officer, who called the situation a 'disgrace', took the vulnerable boy into police protection at the force's northern HQ in Cherry Hall Road at 8pm on September 30.

Although the force contacted social workers, they were unable to find a placement for him so the officer involved had to bring a mattress and blanket from the custody suite to an empty office to allow the boy to get some sleep.

The officer said: "Last night at 8pm I took a lad into police protection. Social services couldn't find anywhere for him for the night so I was told he had to spend the night in an office at our station.

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"He needed to be away from home but.. it's a disgrace when I'm expected to let them sleep all night in a police station. We got a mattress and blanket from custody for him. Not the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last that we've had to do this."

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Blatchly, of Northamptonshire Police, said: “When officers take a child or young person into police protection, issues can occasionally arise around a lack of available safe places for them to then stay.

“This is an issue the force has raised with the relevant partners, as clearly the safety and welfare of the child or young person is paramount.

“Their wellbeing will always be our priority, however it must be recognised that these situations divert police resources while officers work to ensure an individual is appropriately safeguarded.”

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “This incident was associated with the arrest of the youth in question.

“The county council worked to secure suitable accommodation for the young person as soon as was possible after his release.”