Gwent child arrests halved in five years

South Wales Argus: Child arrests in Gwent halved in five years Child arrests in Gwent halved in five years

ARRESTS of children by Gwent Police have more than halved in five years, figures obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform reveal today.

The charity’s research shows that arrests in Gwent dropped from 3,185 in 2008 to 1,569 in 2013, a 51 per cent fall. The overall England and Wales fall was almost 60 per cent.

The league has campaigned to keep as many children as possible out of the criminal justice system, and police forces have reviewed arrest procedures and policies.

Last year, there were 129,274 arrests of children aged 17 and under, including more than 1,100 arrests of 10 or 11-year-olds.

“It is encouraging to see Gwent Police are making significantly fewer arrests of children than they were in 2008, thanks in part to our effective campaigning,” said the Howard League’s chief executive Frances Crook.

“Most police services have developed successful local initiatives that resolve issues quickly and cheaply, involve victims in the justice process and, crucially, avoid criminalising boys and girls.

“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.”

Children in England and Wales can be arrested by police from the age of 10, the lowest age of criminal responsibility in western Europe. The Howard League is recommending it be raised to 14.

A Gwent Police spokesman said: “It’s the duty of the police to investigate all allegations of crime, regardless of the age of the suspects, and arrests are made where appropriate.

“We are, however, conscious of ensuring we are proportionate and fair in our dealings with young people.

“In regard to the fall in the number of young people being arrested, it’s important to note that the number of crimes committed in Gwent has fallen by almost a third and inevitably the number of children and young people entering the criminal justice system has also fallen.

“That said, Gwent Police and partners in youth offending teams and other organisations also work hard to divert children and young people from crime and the criminal justice system.”

Comments (5)

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9:43am Tue 27 May 14

jerymp says...

To sum up does this mean that children are now better behaved or have the definitions of crimes been changed?
There are lies,damned lies and statistics.
To sum up does this mean that children are now better behaved or have the definitions of crimes been changed? There are lies,damned lies and statistics. jerymp
  • Score: 4

9:53am Tue 27 May 14

Dai Rear says...

I don't think a 16 year old would appreciate being called a "child". It's a long time ago but I think I was last a "child" when around 13. I'd have regarded myself then as a teenager. Had I come from a different social group (the one most usually apprehended) I'd have been a "youth". And bearing in mind that Mr Howard and his League's 16 year old "child" may be 6ft 2 inches and weigh 14 stone it's all a bit of tosh really , isn't it, like 90% of what our "betters" dish out to us believing we're too stupid to know the difference?
I don't think a 16 year old would appreciate being called a "child". It's a long time ago but I think I was last a "child" when around 13. I'd have regarded myself then as a teenager. Had I come from a different social group (the one most usually apprehended) I'd have been a "youth". And bearing in mind that Mr Howard and his League's 16 year old "child" may be 6ft 2 inches and weigh 14 stone it's all a bit of tosh really , isn't it, like 90% of what our "betters" dish out to us believing we're too stupid to know the difference? Dai Rear
  • Score: 2

10:18am Tue 27 May 14

varteg1 says...

jerymp wrote:
To sum up does this mean that children are now better behaved or have the definitions of crimes been changed?
There are lies,damned lies and statistics.
More than likely it means far more have access to games and computers on which to play them.

Takes 'em off the streets.

Bedroom cops..... doing the job of the real ones.
[quote][p][bold]jerymp[/bold] wrote: To sum up does this mean that children are now better behaved or have the definitions of crimes been changed? There are lies,damned lies and statistics.[/p][/quote]More than likely it means far more have access to games and computers on which to play them. Takes 'em off the streets. Bedroom cops..... doing the job of the real ones. varteg1
  • Score: 0

11:18am Tue 27 May 14

Melvyn The Milk says...

Not surprising given the recent history of crime recording and reluctance to acknowledge the truth of the situation.
Not surprising given the recent history of crime recording and reluctance to acknowledge the truth of the situation. Melvyn The Milk
  • Score: 2

1:11pm Tue 27 May 14

Mike0408 says...

51% less ARRESTS does NOT MEAN ANYTHING

it just mean they haven't arrested as many as they used to, this could simply be down to kids running away before the police show up and them not having enough evidence to arrest them, or they have been push so much to get these targets down (like with crime figures where they log crimes as serious as rape as assault). that they are just simply letting the kids go with a warning.

if possible why not see how many calls was made to the police regarding kids?? and put that figure next to the total arrests made??.
51% less ARRESTS does NOT MEAN ANYTHING it just mean they haven't arrested as many as they used to, this could simply be down to kids running away before the police show up and them not having enough evidence to arrest them, or they have been push so much to get these targets down (like with crime figures where they log crimes as serious as rape as assault). that they are just simply letting the kids go with a warning. if possible why not see how many calls was made to the police regarding kids?? and put that figure next to the total arrests made??. Mike0408
  • Score: 1

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