Campaign backs fewer arrests
A campaign group has welcomed a fall in the number of children and young people being arrested in Leicestershire.
A survey by the Howard League for Penal Reform found the force arrested 2,865 people aged under 17 in 2011 – an average of 55 a week.
The group, which has been encouraging British forces to only arrest children when absolutely necessary, said that this was a 24 per cent reduction on the 2008 total. Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: "It is very pleasing to see that Leicestershire 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. Only a handful of children are involved in more serious incidents and they usually suffer from neglect, abuse or mental health issues.
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"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."
Nobody from Leicestershire Police was available to comment.