When you answer questions about your criminal history, ensure you fully understand the question. You can say you have no convictions if you meet all the following criteria:. For Queensland offences, the time that has to pass before you don't have to mention a conviction is:. However, prosecutors, courts and certain jobs may still require you to mention your criminal history, even if the appropriate time has passed.
Criminal records may also be covered by the Spent Convictions Scheme. The scheme also protects your criminal record from being used and disclosed in an unauthorised way. It covers convictions for minor federal, state and foreign offences, with protection depending on the type of offence. The scheme also covers pardons and quashed convictions. A criminal record contains personal information.
If you believe a Queensland Government agency has not handled your personal information appropriately, you can make a privacy complaint. If you think an Australian Government agency has not handled your personal information appropriately, you can contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner for more information. Only Tasmania and the Northern Territory have anti-discrimination laws that specifically protect against discrimination due to a criminal record. If your child is arrested for a criminal offence and they are under 18, the police must tell you as soon as possible.
The police should not interview your child until you are present, unless a delay would mean an immediate risk of harm to someone or serious loss of, or damage to, property. In such cases, the police have to make sure that a suitable independent adult is present so that your child is treated fairly.
If your child is under 10, they cannot be taken to court and charged with a criminal offence. However, once they are 10 or over, they are treated in the same way as any young person under 18 and will be dealt with by the Youth Justice System. If it is the first time your child has got into trouble, behaved anti-socially or committed a minor offence, they can be dealt with outside the court system either through the Police Youth Diversion Scheme or through a Diversionary Conference.
If the police charge your child, they will either be given bail and allowed to go home or remanded and made to stay in custody before appearing in a youth court. If your child pleads guilty or is convicted of the charge, they will be sentenced by the youth court. For more serious offences, the youth court may refer the case to the crown court. If your child is faced with charges or has to go to court, you should talk to an experienced adviser. The Children's Law Centre offers free advice. Try their Freephone Advice Line: For legal and advice services in your area, call the Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland on Share this page.
Officers need to communicate with children in a way that is appropriate to their age, understanding and preferred manner of communication.
See also Achieving best evidence in criminal proceedings ABE interviews with children and special measures. For information on consent prior to conducting ABE interviews with children see consent to an ABE interview with a child.
Care needs to be taken, however, to ensure that speaking to the child is confined to:. As soon as the welfare of the child has been established or the officer has determined that the child is at risk of harm or has already been harmed, the conversation should be brought to a close so that it does not constitute an interview. If a child is in the middle of disclosing abuse or telling their story, however, they should not be interrupted and the officer should not ask any questions. In some cases this will be important evidence.
If an interview is conducted, this should be in accordance with the principles in Ministry of Justice Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings: Guidance on interviewing victims and witnesses, and guidance on using special measures. They can also assist victims when they are being interviewed to help them communicate their evidence to the police. The intermediary is approved by the court and can help to explain the questions and answers so far as necessary to help the witness but without changing the substance of the evidence.
The registered intermediary will be present during the interview to facilitate communication as necessary. They also have a role in facilitating communication in court subject to the court granting an application for special measures.
Office of the Revisor of Statutes
Registered intermediaries can be considered for any child, but particular consideration should be given when the child is young or disabled. Officers must take into account the use of an intermediary when planning interviews with children. Where an officer has assessed that a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm, they should decide how to place the child out of danger.
Where necessary, officers should use powers of arrest and police protection powers. Where there is a risk to the life of a child or a likelihood of serious immediate harm, the police should act quickly to secure the immediate safety of the child. There is no power to remove a child or to enforce other arrangements where the child is not considered to be at risk of significant harm.
There may be occasions where a child, although not at risk of such harm, is nevertheless considered to be in need eg, where the parent or carer is taken ill or is under arrest and the child has nobody with legal responsibility to care for them. According to the Children Act section 46 , in circumstances where the police have initiated action to safeguard a child, it is the responsibility of the police to inform the local authority and to give details of where the child is being accommodated. The police also have an important role to play in providing sufficient information to assist in decisions about where the child is to be housed.
Where the use of temporary alternative arrangements to parental or other lawful care is considered, any temporary carers or any residents at that address should be seen, their identity verified and details of any residence in other police force areas obtained. Officers conducting an investigation should consider the legal status of those responsible for a child, to ensure that the child is protected from harm.
Parental responsibility can be held by the following:. Parental responsibility may also be affected if the child is looked after by the local authority or if any court orders are in force that affect parental responsibility eg, court orders relating to child contact.
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The local authority shares parental responsibility when the child is subject to a care order under the Children Act section Police protection does not give the police parental responsibility. The child should be consulted and consent established prior to an ABE interview. The relevant medical professional is responsible for establishing consent for a medical examination. Where an arrest is made, the victim or the parent or carer should be asked for details of how they may be contacted if the suspect is released from custody. Police protection is an emergency power which enables any police officer to protect a child who is reasonably believed to be at risk of significant harm.
When these powers are exercised, the child is considered to be in police protection. Police protection does not give the police parental responsibility and does not, for example, give the police the ability to consent on behalf of the child to a forensic medical examination. Before exercising police powers of protection an officer should seek advice from the child abuse investigation unit, wherever possible.
Where an officer is unable to do this, the unit should be informed as soon as possible after those powers have been exercised. Where the police need to act immediately to protect a child, a strategy discussion should be held as soon as possible afterwards to plan the next steps.
"Host Laws" hold parent accountable, even if they're not home.
Police protection powers should be used only when necessary for reasons relating to the immediate safety of the child. Wherever possible, the decision to remove a child from a parent or carer should be made by a court. For example, an application for an emergency protection order could be used in preference to the exercise of police protection powers. Such an order can include an exclusion requirement, which specifies certain people who should be excluded from living where the child is resident. When considering the necessity for emergency action, officers should include whether action is required to safeguard other children living in the same household of an alleged perpetrator or elsewhere.
Police - Facts You Need to Know - Youth Advocacy Centre
The nature of the abuse should be a key determining factor eg, if it is known that a child is at imminent risk of significant harm then immediate action must be taken. For example, officers may consider not disclosing the location of the child. While there should not be an unreasonable delay in informing the person with parental responsibility, the welfare of the child is paramount and such action may be justified by the need to prevent coercion or contamination of the interview or other evidence.
It also includes ensuring that a child remains in hospital, if appropriate. A child should only be brought to the police station in exceptional circumstances, such as a lack of immediately available local authority accommodation. This should be for a short period only and a child should not be taken to the cell block.
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If it is necessary for a child under police protection to stay with relatives or other appropriate carers, they and any residents at their address should be seen, their identity verified and details of residence in any other police force areas obtained. Checks should be made of the proposed carers and residents at their address. These are single points of access, providing short and long-term interventions.
Local authorities manage adolescent support units, which means that the services of each local unit will vary. Forces should have contingency arrangements in place for children brought to police stations.