Emergency Removal

Surrey County Council v M, F & E [2012] EWHC [2400]

Application for leave to withdraw proceedings after lengthy fact-finding hearing and consideration of grounds for emergency removal of child

A decision of Mrs. Justice Theis. At paragraph 60 she said:-

“To use the section 20 procedure in circumstances where there was the overt threat of a police protection order if they did not agree, reinforced by the physical presence of uniformed police officers, was wholly inappropriate. By adopting this procedure the local authority sought to circumvent the test any court would have required them to meet if they sought to secure an order, either by way of an Emergency Protection Order [EPO] or interim care order [ICO].”

Remember that you are free to take back your children any time!

Home Office Circular 17/2008, issues guidance to the police in the use of their powers under section 46.

The guidance goes on to say at paragraph 15:

“Police protection is an emergency power and should only be used when necessary, the principle being that wherever possible the decision to remove a child/children from a parent should be made by a court.”

It goes on to say at paragraph 16:

“All local authorities should have in place local arrangements (through their local Chief Executive and Clerks to the Justices) whereby out of hours applications for EPOs may be made speedily and without an excess of bureaucracy. Police protection powers should only be used when this is not possible.”

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