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Child arrests in Cornwall and Devon drop

Child arrests in Cornwall and Devon drop

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:00am 14th December 2019. (Updated at 8:06am 14th December 2019)

The number of children being arrested across Devon and Cornwall has dropped by 79% over the past eight years.

That is according to new research published by the Howard League for Penal Reform, but there were still over 800 last year alone.

Devon and Cornwall Police made 884 arrests of boys and girls aged 17 and under in 2018. 

This compares to 895 in the previous year and 4,132 back in 2010, when a major campaign was launched to reduce child arrests nationwide. 

Academic research claims that each contact a child has with the criminal justice system drags them deeper into it, leading to more crime. 

The Howard League says this is why it's working with police forces across England and Wales to keep as many children as possible out of the system in the first place.

Child arrest figures for Devon and Cornwall Police:

  • 2010: 4,132
  • 2011: 3,363
  • 2012: 2,398
  • 2013: 1,431
  • 2014: 1,470
  • 2015: 1,297
  • 2016: 994
  • 2017: 895
  • 2018: 884

"Tens of thousands of children can look forward to a brighter future without their lives being blighted by police contact and a criminal record.

"Devon and Cornwall Police and other forces up and down the country have diverted resources to tackling serious crime instead of arresting naughty children. 

"This will make communities safer, and the Howard League is proud to have played its part.

"Building on this success and reducing the number of arrests still further would allow even more children to thrive."

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

The figures for Devon and Cornwall are in line with the national trend. 

Data from more than 40 police forces show that they made 70,078 arrests of children in 2018 - a reduction of more than 70 per cent from almost 250,000 in 2010.

Pirate FM has asked Devon and Cornwall Police for a statement.

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