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Children Arrested 124 Times a Week in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire Police

6:27am 3rd December 2012

The Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police is being asked to explain why the force arrests more than a hundred children a week.

Now Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan is asking Chief Constable Tim Madgwick for the reasons behind the arrests, she spoke to Minster FM:


North Yorkshire Police arrested children 124 times a week on average last year, figures obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform reveal today.

New research by the charity shows officers made 6,452 arrests of boys and girls aged 17 and under during 2011.

North Yorkshire Police was the only police service in England and Wales to record an increase in child arrests between 2008 and 2011. It made 6,240 arrests in 2008.

The full figures are:

  • 2008: 6,240
  • 2009: 5,269
  • 2010: 4,566
  • 2011: 6,452

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

“It is regrettable that the number of children arrested by North Yorkshire Police is rising, when we have seen a downward trend across the rest of England and Wales.

“Children who get into trouble are more often than not just being challenging teenagers and how we respond to this nuisance behaviour could make a difference for the rest of their lives.  An arrest can blight a life and lead to a criminal record for just being naughty. The positive change in policing children will release resources to deal with real crimes.

“Only a handful of children are involved in more serious incidents and they usually suffer from neglect, abuse or mental health issues.  A commitment to public safety means treating them as vulnerable children and making sure they get the help they need to mature into law-abiding citizens.

“Under the last government, police success was measured by the number of arrests and children proved a seductive way to make up the numbers. The fact that the number of child arrests across England and Wales has fallen by a third since 2008 is a testament to a change of culture, more focused on public safety than targets.”

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