In relation to children belonging to the remaining two age categories, arrest can be affected although it is preferred that police officials make use of other means to secure attendance at court. Nonetheless, once arrested, the Act prescribes that where there is an option to either detain or release the child, preference should always be given to the child’s release with due consideration given to the schedule of offence and the factors outlined in the CPA.
In relation to a schedule 1 offence in terms of the Act, a police official must release the child before the preliminary enquiry and on written notice into the care of a parent or appropriate adult or guardian. A prosecutor may also release a child on bail in respect of a schedule 1 offence but in relation to a schedule 2 offence, only a prosecutor may make the decision regarding the child’s release on bail.
The Court is the decision maker regarding the release of a child in terms of a schedule 3 offence in terms of the act. It is here where an application would need to be brought before court for the child’s release on bail. This is due to schedule 3 offences being serious offences such as murder, rape or exposure or display of child pornography.