Child arrests are down in Cambridgeshire, says charity

Police are appealing for information about two thefts reported in the Haverhill area. Picture: CONTR

Police are appealing for information about two thefts reported in the Haverhill area. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Arrests of children have fallen by 71 per cent in the county in the last six years, according to figures published by a national charity.

Cambridgeshire Police made 1,013 arrests of children aged 17 and under last year compared to 3,440 in 2010.

The Howard League for Penal Reform reveal said the trend falls in line with the rest of Britain where the total number of arrests has fallen by 64 per cent – from almost 250,000 in 2010 to 87,525 in 2016.

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.

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“Cambridgeshire Police should be applauded for their positive approach, and the Howard League is proud to have played its part in a transformation that will make our communities safer.

“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.

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“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 re-offending rates.”

The statistics underline the success of a major Howard League programme, which involves working with police forces to keep as many boys and girls as possible out of the criminal justice system, he said.

The total number of arrests has fallen every year since the campaign began in 2010.

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