Youth arrests take a big drop in Hampshire

Katy Watson, aged nine, with the gardening creation she made at Family Sunday

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ARRESTS of children in Hampshire have fallen by 72 per cent in the past five years.

Figures published by charity the Howard League for Penal Reform, which has been working with Hampshire Constabulary, show that Hampshire police made 2,295 arrests of boys and girls aged 17 and under during 2015.

The statistics show the force has made significant progress since 2010, when it made 8,267 child arrests.

Between 2010 and 2015, the number of children in prison in England and Wales fell by 58 per cent – decreasing at the same rate as child arrests.

Arrests of girls are falling at a faster rate than arrests of boys. Police recorded a 63-per cent-drop in girls’ arrests between 2010 and 2015, and the number of girls in prison decreased by the same proportion.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: ‘I applaud Hampshire police for their success in reducing child arrests. The Howard League is proud to have played its part in a significant change to the policing and life chances of children.

‘It is particularly gratifying that, across England and Wales, the reduction in child arrests matches exactly the reduction in custody for children, and it is no coincidence.’