Judge frustrated about lack of secure accommodation for teenagers

A family court judge has raised concern about "yet another young person" who has fallen into a gap in the system because of a "serious shortage of secure accommodation".

Judge Judith Rowe said she had handled a case involving a 15-year-old boy who was "increasingly beyond the control of his family".

She said council social services staff wanted to ask a judge for permission to place the youngster in secure accommodation but could not find a suitable placement despite making "every effort".

The judge said she could do not better than cite her "frustration".

She had overseen the case at a family court in London a few months ago and has raised concern in a written ruling published on a legal website.

The most senior family court judge in England and Wales raised concern about a shortage of secure accommodation units in England for children more than a year ago.

Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, said in October 2016 that the problem had led to social services bosses at councils in England trying to place children in their care in secure accommodation units in Scotland.

A number of other judges have raised similar concerns.