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Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019

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31Guidance

(1)The Scottish Ministers—

(a)must issue guidance to the persons mentioned in subsection (3) about such matters relating to the exercise of the power conferred by section 28 as they consider appropriate, and

(b)may, from time to time, issue revised guidance.

(2)Guidance under subsection (1) may in particular cover—

(a)what constitutes significant harm,

(b)the circumstances under which a constable may exercise the constable’s power to take a child to a place of safety,

(c)co-operation between the persons mentioned in subsection (3) with a view to identifying (including in advance of any exercise of the power conferred by section 28) places within a particular area which are suitable for use as a place of safety for the purposes of section 28,

(d)processes to be put in place by those persons—

(i)to minimise the number of occasions on which it is not reasonably practicable to keep a child in a place of safety other than a police station,

(ii)to ensure that the need to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of the child being kept in a place of safety is treated as a primary consideration in accordance with section 72(2),

(e)the keeping of a child who is being kept in a place of safety that is a police station in a cell.

(3)The persons are—

(a)the chief constable,

(b)local authorities.

(4)A person mentioned in subsection (3) must have regard to guidance issued under subsection (1).

(5)Before issuing guidance under subsection (1), the Scottish Ministers must consult—

(a)the chief constable,

(b)each local authority,

(c)such other persons as they consider appropriate.

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