Charity claims success in campaign to cut child arrests - The Rugby Observer

Charity claims success in campaign to cut child arrests

Rugby Editorial 4th Jun, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

CHILD arrests in the county have fallen by 71 per cent in five years, figures have revealed.

The number fell from 2,147 to 623 between 2008 and 2013, according to The Howard League for Penal Reform.

It claimed it as a positive move that would help free up police officers to deal with more serious crime.

The charity has campaigned to keep children out of the criminal justice system, but said child arrests were still too common.

More than 7,000 children aged 17 and under were arrested in the West Midlands last year and 1,670 in Leicestershire. Across England and Wales it was 129,274 children – one arrest every four minutes.

The Howard League also used the statistics to reiterate its claim the age of criminal responsibility should be raised from ten – the lowest in Western Europe – to 14.

Chief executive Frances Crook said: “Most police services in England and Wales 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 for police 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.”

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