Figures published today revealed that arrests of children by Cheshire Police have fallen by 37 per cent in the last six years.
Research by the charity Howard League for Penal Reform has found that the force made 1,187 arrests of children aged 17 and under last year, down from 1,870 in 2010. Across England and Wales, the total number of arrests has fallen by 64 per cent in six years – from almost 250,000 in 2010 to 87,525 in 2016.
The total number of arrests has fallen every year since the Howard League campaign, which involves working with police forces to keep as many boys and girls as possible out of the criminal justice system, began in 2010.
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. "Cheshire 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."
Every police force in England and Wales made fewer child arrests in 2016 than in 2010. Cheshire Police is one of only four forces that did not bring down their number of arrests by more than half. Nationwide, there were 703 arrests of primary-age children (10- and 11-year-olds) in 2016, a reduction of 18 per cent from the previous year.
Child arrest figures for Cheshire Police are: 2010: 1,870, 2011: 1,904, 2012: 1,508, 2013: 1,269 2014: 1,266, 2015: 1,292 and 2016: 1,187.