Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Old enough to play the lottery....

Shift in custody the other day, had a few in for immigration offences.

Immigration jobs make permanent custody sergeants moan, going on about taking up cells and creating them what they feel is unneccessary work. I generally ignore them as most custody sergeants fit the grumpy old man profile very well and if they weren't allowed to moan about something then they'd probably implode.

I'm not bothered about dealing with immigration offences. They do tend to take longer to deal with and there's a whole set of detention and questioning powers I don't really know much about but on the whole they're not that hard.

What does annoy me though is the little bit of small print somewhere in the immigration laws that if someone claims to be under 16 then they cannot be deported but have to be taken into care. Now this in itself I don't object to, for if there is a genuine child who has found his way into the country by whatever means then we should look after them.

I do object when fully grown adults, who wouldn't be challenged on a door at a 25 yrs above only nightclub, claim they are 16. Despite it being as plain as day- and I acknowledge there are some 14 year olds who can pass off as over 18 or even 20 - that someone is a close to 16 years old as your average Shadows single, they are treated as though they are until proven otherwise.

Unfortunately, the people at Social Services who are deemed wise enough to officially decide that someone is not under 16 don't work weekends.

The end result I had was that I had no choice to but to release this bloke (aged between 25 and 30, at least) into the "care" of social services who placed him in a foster home.

Don't get me wrong, but placing a fully grown adult about whom absolutely nothing is known, into a home full of the most vulnerable young people and teenagers in society, is a disaster waiting to happen. But unfortunately until that disaster happens I have no choice in whether I can release them or not.