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'Significant' Drop In Child Arrests By Police Since 2010

'Significant' Drop In Child Arrests By Police Since 2010

Published by Karen Liu at 12:34pm 9th December 2019.

A major campaign to keep children in North Yorkshire out of the criminal justice system is having a lasting impact.

That is according to research published by the Howard League for Penal Reforms today (Monday 9th December).

It shows North Yorkshire Police made 1,077 arrests of boys and girls aged 17 and under in 2018. This is a slight rise on the previous year, but significantly lower than the 4,525 recorded in 2010, when the Howard League launched its campaign to reduce child arrests nationwide.

It says academic research has shown that each contact a child has with the criminal justice system drags them deeper into it, leading to more crime. This is why the Howard League is working with police forces across England and Wales to keep as many children as possible out of the system in the first place.

The figures for North Yorkshire are broadly in line with the national trend. Data from more than 40 police forces show that they made 70,078 arrests of children in 2018 – a reduction of more than 70 per cent from almost 250,000 in 2010.

Across England and Wales, the total number of child arrests has been reduced every year since the campaign began. Over the same period, the number of children has been reduced by 63 per cent.

Arrests of primary school-age children have been reduced significantly. There were 383 arrests of 10- and 11-year-olds in 2018, a reduction of 38 per cent from the previous year.

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

“Tens of thousands of children can look forward to a brighter future without their lives being blighted by police contact and a criminal record.

North Yorkshire Police and other forces up and down the country have diverted resources to tackling serious crime instead of arresting naughty children. This will make communities safer, and the Howard League is proud to have played its part.

Building on this success and reducing the number of arrests still further would allow even more children to thrive.”

The Howard League is studying the figures and hopes to meet with these forces to explore how the number of arrests can be reduced in future.

Child arrest figures for North Yorkshire Police

2010: 4,525
2011: 3,644
2012: 1,152
2013: 1,556
2014: 1,445
2015: 1,317
2016: 1,291
2017: 1,034
2018: 1,077

Humberside Police has also seen a significant drop in children being arrested since 2010.

Here are the force's figures:

2010: 5,751 
2011: 2,067 
2012: 2,732 
2013: 2,008 
2014: 1,460 
2015: 1,300 
2016: 1,409 
2017: 1,385 
2018: 1,202

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