Children Act 2001

Probation officer’s report.


99.—(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), where a court is satisfied of the guilt of a child, it—

(a) may in any case, and

(b) shall, where it is of opinion that the appropriate decision would be to impose a community sanction, detention (whether or not deferred under section 144) or detention and supervision,

adjourn the proceedings, remand the child and request a probation and welfare officer to prepare a report in writing (a “probation officer’s report”) which—

(i) would assist the court in determining a suitable community sanction (if any) or another way of dealing with the child, and

(ii) would contain information on such matters as may be prescribed, including any information specifically requested by the court.

(2) The probation officer’s report shall, at the request of the court, indicate whether, and if so how, in his or her opinion any lack of care or control by the parents or guardian of the child concerned contributed to the behaviour which resulted in the child being found guilty of an offence.

(3) The court may, in addition, request that a victim impact report be furnished to it in respect of any victim of the child where it considers that such a report would assist it in dealing with the case.

(4) The court may decide not to request a probation officer’s report where—

(a) the penalty for the offence of which the child is guilty is fixed by law, or

(b) (i) the child was the subject of a probation officer’s report prepared not more than 2 years previously,

(ii) the attitude of the child to, and the circumstances of, the offence or offences to which that report relates are similar to his or her attitude to, and the circumstances of, the offence of which the child has been found guilty, and

(iii) the previous report is available to the court and the court is satisfied that the material in it is sufficient to enable it to deal with the case.

(5) Where a court requests a report under this section, it may at any time summon as a witness any person whose evidence in its opinion would assist it in dealing with the case.