EMERGENCY PROTECTION ORDER: Langley v Liverpool City Council [2005] EWCA Civ 1173

29 NOV 2005

(Court of Appeal; Thorpe; Dyson and Lloyd LJJ, 11 October 2005) [2006] 1 FLR 342

The father is registered blind and deaf and drove his two eldest children to school in another county despite assurances to the local council that he would not do so. The council understood that the father intended shortly to drive back to the school with one of his other children in the car. The local authority obtained an Emergency Protection Order (EPO). The local authority's officer could not get hold of the parents to execute the EPO and contacted the emergency duty team who requested police assistance. A police officer removed the younger sibling from the family home. The Court of Appeal held that a police officer who knew that an EPO was in force in relation to a child should not exercise the power of removing that child under the Children Act 1989, s 46 unless there were compelling reasons to do so. The statutory scheme shows that Parliament intended that if practicable, the removal of a child from where he or she is living should be authorised by a court order and effected under s 44.

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