CHILD arrests in Gwent have reduced by 81 percent in the last eight years, according to research from a penal reform charity.

The Howard League for Penal Reform has revealed that Britain has seen reductions averaging 70 per cent in such arrests since 2010, with Gwent seeing one of the most significant falls.

After academic research carried out for the charity showed that the more contact a child has with the justice system the more likely they are to offend, it began a campaign in 2010 to decrease numbers of child arrests.

Data from Gwent Police showed that 466 child arrests were made in 2018, down from 2,503 in 2010.

Assistant Chief Constable Jon Edwards, said: “While it’s our duty to investigate all allegations of crime, regardless of the age of the suspects, we are committed to ensuring that we are proportionate and fair when dealing with children. Keeping children out of the criminal justice system where possible helps prevent crime.

“In our experience, some children who have previously had contact with the criminal justice system have been treated as offenders, when in reality, they are the victims of exploitation and they need safeguarding.”


Police forces across England and Wales made 70,078 arrests of children in 2018 - a reduction from almost 250,000 in 2010.

Mr Edwards added: "Through early intervention and working closely with partners, our aim is to divert children into support services and away from the criminal justice system.

"We also work closely with youth offending teams to ensure, where reasonable, that young people are not criminalised for mistakes and circumstances beyond their control, when this could be damaging to their future.”

Child arrest figures for Gwent Police:

2010: 2,503

2011: 2,163

2012: 1,698

2013: 1,569

2014: 980

2015: 1,172

2016: 930

2017: 747

2018: 466