Arrests, police and young people
This page has information for parents and carers of young people who may have come into contact with police.
Police can talk to a child or young person to find out to what happened during an incident or allegation, or to establish whether they were involved.
A responsible adult does not need to be present during this conversation, until the young person or child is considered a suspect or alleged offender.
When a young person is arrested
A child or young person can be arrested by police if they have been either:
- allegedly involved in an offence
- or suspected of being involved in an offence.
During any legal process, a responsible adult who is independent of police must be present. They will protect the rights of the child and represent their interests.
It is preferable if this person is the parent or primary caregiver.
Your child will be taken to the nearest police station, or another police facility. You or the child’s primary carer will be called by police to come to the police station.
If a parent or other primary carer is not available, police may use a responsible adult independent of police.
After a young person is arrested by police
Police will decide whether your child should continue to be held or be released from custody.
Police may also call a magistrate to discuss whether your child should be released.
Any of the following may happen to your child:
- released without charge
- referred to a youth diversion program
- charged then released on police bail
- charged, remanded in custody and taken to a youth detention centre in Darwin or Alice Springs for a later appearance in the Youth Justice Court.
- charged, police bail refused and taken to the next sitting of the Youth Justice Court.
Last updated: 06 February 2019
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