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The High Court in R (W) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and Another held that the powers under section 30(6) of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, which allow for a child curfew to be imposed in certain areas, did not permit the police to use reasonable force to compel a child to return to his home if the child breached the curfew. This commentary analyses the reasoning in the case, and argues that although the decision itself is to be welcomed, the reasoning should have placed greater emphasis on the entitlement of the child to the protection of his rights as a person under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950. The implications of the decision on other child curfew powers, specifically those under section 14 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, will also be considered.
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