Police 'anger' after girl, 15, kept in custody for 26 hours

Northamptonshire Police HQ at Wootton Hall Park, Northampton
Image caption A 15-year-old girl was held by Northamptonshire Police for 26 hours

A 15-year-old "vulnerable girl" was kept in police protection for more than 26 hours because no suitable accommodation could be found for her.

Sgt Sam Dobbs, of Northamptonshire Police, posted messages on Twitter about how officers had to keep the teenager fed and "entertained".

He said the girl was eventually collected by social services in London.

Northamptonshire Police said there was a "considerable" delay in finding secure accommodation for the girl.

The case came to light in a series of tweets posted by Sgt Dobbs on Wednesday, in which he said there were a lot of "angry police".

Image copyright Twitter

He wrote: "We've now been caring for a 15-year-old vulnerable girl in police protection at station since 3pm Tue whilst suitable accommodation sourced."

Shortly after he tweeted that he was buying her food and trying to keep her entertained.

He said: "We're buying her food and keeping her entertained best we can. 26 hours is stretching it tho (sic) and still no solution. But she's safe."

He went on to say that the girl had been in custody, in hospital, had a mental health assessment and was stuck in the police canteen.

Image copyright Twitter

Police said officers were working with Lambeth Council in an effort to find accommodation for the girl.

"A young person may come into police custody for a number of reasons, including if they have committed an offence, if there is concern for their mental health and if they are at risk of significant harm," said a Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman.

"On this occasion, the young girl came into police custody for all three of the reasons above.

"We liaised with Lambeth Council in order to obtain secure accommodation for the girl, which took a considerable amount of time to source. This delay led to the girl remaining in police care."

Lambeth Council has been asked to comment.