Hundreds of children in England and Wales have been held under the Mental Health Act and locked in police cells because officers did not have anywhere else to take them, the BBC has learned.
There were 305 detentions of under-18s in the first 11 months of 2013, Radio 4's the World This Weekend found.
Some were detained for more than 24 hours, according to data released under Freedom of Information laws.
Health Minister Norman Lamb said the level of cell use was "unacceptable".
The latest information revealed that in 2012 there were 317 detentions.It goes without saying that a police cell is not a safe place for a child. Why have we not heard about this from social services?