Police arresting fewer children across Notts and Derbyshire

editorial image

Arrests of children by the region’s police forces have dramatically dropped in the past five years, figures show.

The data obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform, shows that arrests of 10 to 17-year-olds has fallen by 69 percent in Nottinghamshire and 66 per cent in Derbyshire.

Research shows that the number in Nottinghamshire dropped from 7,008 in 2008 to 2,189 in 2013, and 5,608 in 2008 to 1,930 in Derbyshire.

It follows a successful Howard League campaign aimed at keeping as many children as possible out of the criminal justice system.

Police services reviewed their arrest procedures and policies as a result of the charity’s engagement with them.

Children in England and Wales can be arrested by police from the age of 10 – the lowest age of criminal responsibility in Western Europe.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “It’s encouraging to see that the police are making significantly fewer arrests of children than in 2008, thanks in part to our effective campaigning.

“Most police services have developed successful local initiatives that resolve issues quickly and cheaply, involve victims in the justice process and, crucially, avoid criminalising boys and girls.

“A sharp fall in the number of children entering the justice system is good news for everyone striving to reduce crime and saves the taxpayer untold millions.

“The challenge now is to maintain this trend. At a time of austerity, further reducing the number of children arrested would free up more officer time to deal with serious crimes.”