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North Yorkshire Police Get Numbers Wrong on Child Arrests

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8:07am 4th December 2012

North Yorkshire Police says it got its numbers wrong when counting child arrests.

Yesterday, the Howard League for Penal Reform suggested the force was the only one in the country arresting more young people now than in 2008.

In fact there was a fall.

The actual arrest figures for people aged under 18 over the last four years in North Yorkshire are:

  • 2008 – 4,816
  • 2009 – 4,170
  • 2010 – 3,489
  • 2011 – 2,953

Temporary Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, of North Yorkshire Police, said:

“The mathematical error in gathering the data to answer the Freedom of Information request from the Howard League for Penal Reform is very disappointing and regrettable.

“On behalf of North Yorkshire Police, I sincerely apologise to the Howard League and other parties that have been inconvenienced by this error."

“I will send a letter of apology to the Howard League as a matter of priority.”

Mr Madgwick added: “Following a review of the data, I can confirm the correct number of juveniles arrested by North Yorkshire Police in 2011 was 2,953."

“This is in line with the year-on-year national trend of decreasing numbers of under 18s who are placed under arrest.”

North Yorkshire Police follows national guidance when dealing with young people involved with crime and anti-social behaviour.

Mr Madgwick said: "If it is necessary to arrest a juvenile who is suspected of committing an offence, we make every effort to achieve the most positive outcome for both the victim and offender.

“This approach includes actively engaging with the young person and their family and working with partners within the criminal justice system and other agencies.

“The aim is to divert them away from a life of crime and the misery that goes with it, and become responsible members of society.“

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