The over-representation of children and young people with experience of care in the criminal justice system has been recognised as a national issue, with calls for practice to change. In 2018, multi-agency protocols were recommended as part of an effort to reduce the level of contact between children and young people in care and the police (Department for Education 2018). The protocols aim to reduce unnecessary arrests, increase the use of restorative approaches and improve partnership working in local areas.
My research will examine how police contact with children and young people in residential care is shaped by the presence of formal protocols. I will address the following research question: “Has the introduction of multi-agency protocols had an effect upon the amount and type of police involvement in residential children’s homes in Wales?”