Child arrests across Northamptonshire falling

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THE number of children being arrested in Northamptonshire is falling, a charity has revealed.

Northamptonshire Police arrested children 42 times a week on average last year, figures obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform show. New research by the charity shows officers made 2,177 arrests of boys and girls aged 17 and under during 2011.

Northamptonshire Police say the fall is “no doubt as a result of us focusing on improving trust and confidence, empowering officers to use their professional judgement and developing restorative justice within the county”.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “It is very pleasing to see that Northamptonshire Police is arresting fewer children than it has in the past. I hope this trend continues.

“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.

Last year, across England and Wales police made more than 209,000 arrests of boys and girls aged 17 and under. An average of six primary school children were arrested every day.