74 per cent fall in children arrested in Cambridgeshire in five years

12:42 27 May 2014

Cambridgeshire Police

Cambridgeshire Police

Archant

Arrests of children in Cambridgeshire have fallen by 74 per cent in five years.

Figures obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform, who campaign to keep children out of the criminal justice system, reveal the number of children arrested by Cambs Police dropped from 4,054 in 2008 to 1,067 in 2013.

Only five forces in the country arrested fewer children last year.

Chief Constable Simon Parr said the “huge reduction” in the number of children arrested in the past few years had coincided with the introduction of restorative justice and a drive towards using more effective and appropriate ways of dealing with young offenders.

He said: “It is great news that the number of children reaching the age of 18 in Cambridgeshire with a criminal record has dropped so dramatically.

“In most cases, we do not believe custody is a place for children because there are more effective methods which actually reduce the chances of re-offending.

“Restorative justice, which is often used when dealing young first-time offenders, gives an officer the opportunity to resolve a situation successfully, with the approval of the victim, without arresting and criminalising the person responsible.

“The process gives victims the chance to tell offenders the real impact of their crime, to get answers to questions and an apology, while offenders are given the chance to take responsibility for what they’ve done and make amends but not acquire the stigma of a criminal record.”

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “It is encouraging to see that Cambs Police are making significantly fewer arrests of children than they were in 2008.

“A sharp fall in the number of children entering the justice system is good news for everyone striving to reduce crime and saves the taxpayer untold millions.

“The challenge for police now is to maintain this trend. At a time of austerity, further reducing the number of children arrested would free up more officer time to deal with serious crimes.”

Child arrest figures for Cambridgeshire

2008: 4,054

2009: 3,795

2010: 3,440

2011: 2,099

2012: 1,473

2013: 1,067

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Wisbech Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Wisbech Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Wisbech Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

14:00
Susan Lemmon.

A Fen woman says she is looking forward to her best Christmas for a long time after a charity found her the “perfect” job.

10:00
The choir with Marie Cunningham at Peckover House.

A youthful school choir has been spreading festive cheer throughout Wisbech.

Yesterday, 19:00
Student Frank Etherington whose family donated 48 kilos of rice to Thomas Clarkson Academy's food drive.

Students and staff at Thomas Clarkson Academy have donated more than 1,000 items of food to Wisbech food bank this Christmas.

Yesterday, 15:50
Alan Pain

A councillor’s bid to get Fenland Council to switch from a cabinet style system of governance to committees fell at the first hurdle.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

E-edition