Successful scheme sees Derbyshire child arrests plummet

Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform
Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform

Arrests of children have fallen across the county by 81 per cent since the introduction of a scheme aimed at keeping youngsters out of trouble.

Research by the Howard League for Penal Reform show Derbyshire Constabulary made 797 arrests of children aged 17 and under last year (a figure calculated from limited data), down from 4,194 in 2010.

The statistics underline the success of a major programme launched by the charity in 2010, involving working with police forces to keep children out of the criminal justice system.

Across England and Wales, the total number of arrests has fallen by 64 per cent in six years – from almost 250,000 in 2010 to 87,525 in 2016.

The scheme was based around the concept that keeping children out of the criminal justice system helps prevent crime.

Academic research has shown that the more contact a child has with the system, the more entrenched they are likely to become, which increases reoffending rates.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “For the sixth year running, we have seen a significant reduction in child arrests across the country.

“This is a tremendous achievement, and we will continue to support police forces to develop their good practice and reduce the number to an absolute minimum.”

Frances continued: “By working together, we are ensuring that tens of thousands of children will have a brighter future and not be dragged into a downward spiral of crime and custody.”