Secure care
Transport to secure care


Children going to secure care must be transported to and from Court using transport which is appropriate for children, minimises delays and does not put them in contact with adult prisoners or accused (Scottish Government, 2021). Responsibility for arranging and funding secure transport from court to the secure care centre and for any subsequent transport arrangements lies with:

For children and on remand

The local authority where the child ordinarily resides. Transport should be arranged at the earliest opportunity, with it noted there is variation in who provides such transport. The local authority is also responsible for making arrangements for the child until transport arrives following attendance at court; this should involve discussion between the local authority, court and the police. This will often be a very stressful and anxiety provoking time for the child, with it crucial they are supported during this time and delays are minimised.

For sentenced children

For children sentenced under section 44 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995: As above for children on remand.

For children sentenced under sections 205(2) or 208 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995: the Children and Young Person’s (CYP) Placement Manager at Scottish Government. GEOAmey is currently contracted to provide transport.

Secure transport providers are responsible for:

Transport is in non-cellular unmarked vehicles and staff are trained in de-escalation techniques. The use of any methods of restraint (such as handcuffs) should be agreed on an individual basis.

As per the Secure Care Pathway and Standards Scotland (Scottish Government, 2020) all children should be supported to understand the decision made at court, what their rights are and how these will be upheld during their stay in secure care. This, along with what to expect of their transport and admission to, and daily life in, secure care, should be explained by someone who the child knows and trusts. This adult should accompany the child to the secure care centre. The child should be treated with dignity, compassion, sensitivity and respect throughout.

Arrival at the secure care centre

On arrival, the child should be welcomed at the main entrance unless this is unsafe for the child or others (Scottish Government, 2020). This should be based on the child’s individual circumstances and needs. The child should be supported by someone they know and welcomed and reassured by everyone involved, with children having highlighted the importance of this:

“I think having someone you know and trust take you to secure helps to make you feel safer and less stressed”

“I was brought to secure care by strangers. I felt abandoned” (Secure Care Pathway and Standards)

The entrance and reception area should be decorated and styled in a way that is welcoming and feels safe, comfortable and friendly (Scottish Government, 2020). The escort provider and staff from the secure care centre will ensure all relevant paperwork and the child’s belongings are handed over and a Personal Escort Form is signed.

Resources for this page