Police have arrested 61% fewer children in the last seven years, slightly below the average national progress, new research has revealed.
The study, published by the Howard League for Penal Reform on Monday, December 9, shows Lincolnshire Police made 745 arrests of boys and girls aged 17 and under in 2018.
This compares to 779 in the previous year and 1,911 back in 2011, the year after the Howard League launched a major campaign to reduce child arrests nationwide.
The charity, which campaigns for safer communities and fewer people in prison, says that each contact a child has with the the criminal justice system drags them deeper into it, leading to more crime.
The figures for Lincolnshire 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% from almost 250,000 in 2010.
Across England and Wales, the total number of child arrests has been reduced every year since the campaign began. Over the same period, the number of children in prison has been reduced by 63%.
Arrests of primary school-age children have been reduced significantly. There were 383 arrests of 10- and 11-year-olds in 2018, a reduction of 38% from the previous year.
Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Tens of thousands of children can look forward to a brighter future without their lives being blighted by police contact and a criminal record.
“Lincolnshire 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.”
Child arrest figures for Lincolnshire Police
- 2010: Data unavailable
- 2011: 1,911
- 2012: 1,290
- 2013: 1,027
- 2014: 990
- 2015: 1,117
- 2016: 913
- 2017: 779
- 2018: 745