Pity the children (if they're female).
s.31. Arrangements shall be made for preventing a child or young person while detained in a police station, or while being conveyed to or from any criminal court, or while awaiting before or after attendance in any criminal court, from associating with an adult (not being a relative) who is charged with any offence other than an offence with which the child or young person is jointly charged, and for ensuring that a girl (being a child or young person) shall while so detained, being conveyed, or waiting, be under the care of a woman.
I am reliably informed that this section of this act has not been repealed or modified. Its very existence is probably news to most of us in Blandshire Constabulary. What it means essentially is that if a girl under 17 is arrested, there needs to be a female gaoler or police officer taking responsibility for her care. No mention of poor embarrassed boys.
I am glad to see that there is still room to accommodate such archaic legislation in the modern world. Without such safeguards, the delicate female young of this nation would surely fall prey to rapists in every custody suite. In any event, it is surely fair to say that if legislation has never been challenged, it doesn't really matter how sexist or otherwise it is.
Of course, back in the 1930s, it would have been hard to envisage a situation where a teenaged boy might find himself in the custody of an all-female cast of gaolers, sergents and PCs. Now, even in the 25% ratio of Blandmore, there could be days when that is indeed the case. Problematic, the day a defence solicitor decides to pick up this Act and wave it under the noses of a Discrimination lawyer somewhere.
Of course, the protection here is really for the male police officers who would fall prey to thousands of malicious allegations of sexual assault and worse if left alone with a female. I'm not so much insulted by this piece of legislation as left staggered at the naivete of it. In today's world, you're just as likely to get accused of sexual assault whatever gender you are, and whatever gender the subject is. That's called Enlightenment.
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