Collateral Damage

‘Collateral Damage’, an inquiry into the impact of police home raids on the children and siblings of offenders in England, was published in November 2016

Inspired by Our Voice, a Pact project that works with children and young people affected by familial imprisonment, the study aims to raise awareness and inform best practice amongst police and policy makers to minimise the harm and trauma that can be caused to the estimated 80,000 children per year* who experience police home raids when a parent or family member is arrested.

A mother whose house was raided in the early hours of the morning when her husband was arrested, wrote about the impact it had on her young daughter who was in bed at the time:

“She still has nightmares that are so bad she wakes up trembling and shaking. We were offered no support by the Police or other agencies. I know the police have a job to do and I know that my husband is where he should be, but my daughter didn’t ask for any of this.”

Pact CEO, Andy Keen-Downs said:

“As a Society, we depend on the courage and professionalism of the police to protect us and uphold the rule of law, and we understand that sometimes this means breaking down doors or entering family homes. But what this report confirms for us is that there is an urgent need to recognise the harm that this causes to children who, through no fault of their own, go through the terrifying and traumatising experience of their homes being raided, sometimes in the middle of the night, and of a parent or family member being arrested, handcuffed, and taken away. It is quite shocking that there is no automatic follow up support offered to these children. We therefore need to ensure that we have adequate safeguards in place and we invite Police & Crime Commissioners, police forces, magistrates and others to work with us to find solutions.”

Read Collateral Damage