The number of child arrests in Staffordshire has fallen by just under 75 per cent in nine years – new figures show.
Data released this morning by the Howard League for Penal Reform shows Staffordshire Police made 1,093 arrests of children in 2019 – down from 4,163 in 2010.
The charity’s latest research briefing, Child arrests in England and Wales 2019, published today, shows that there has been a 71 per cent reduction nationwide in the number of arrests of children aged 17 and under – from 245,763 in 2010 to 71,885 in 2019.
Every police force in England and Wales has achieved a reduction in arrests over this period, with all but three reducing their arrest rate by more than half.
Now the Howard League is encouraging police forces to build on this success and focus on areas where even more could be done to prevent children being arrested unnecessarily – particularly black children and children from minority ethnic backgrounds, victims of child criminal exploitation, and children living in residential care.
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 to keep as many boys and girls as possible out of the system in the first place.
Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Every child deserves the chance to grow and fulfil their potential, and we must do all we can to ensure that they are not held back by a criminal record.
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“The Howard League’s programme to reduce child arrests has shown what can be achieved by working together. Police forces have diverted resources to tackling serious crime instead of arresting children unnecessarily, and this means hundreds of thousands of boys and girls can look forward to a brighter future.
“After a successful decade spent embedding good practice across England and Wales, the challenge now is to keep up the momentum and reduce arrests still further. The Howard League will continue to support forces to make communities safer and allow more children to thrive.”
Child arrest figures for Staffordshire Police: