Less children are being arrested

By Connie Osborne Friday 13 June 2014 Updated: 13/06 09:21

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THE NUMBER of child arrests in the area has fallen by nearly 80 per cent, figures have revealed.

Data obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform showed the number of people aged 17 and under being arrested by West Mercia Police had dropped from 7,580 in 2008 to 1,758 in 2013.

It follows a campaign by the charity to keep children out of the criminal justice system which called for forces across the country to review their arrest procedures and policies.

Youngsters in England and Wales can be arrested from the age of ten - the lowest age of criminal responsibility in Western Europe.

But the Howard League has called for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised to 14 in line with the European average.

A spokesman from West Mercia Police said the drop was the result of changes to the way the force responds to incidents involving children.

This included a response to allegations and recognition police should not seek to criminalise young people unnecessarily. Using Restorative Justice and Community Resolution outcomes, where the victims and offenders work together to find a resolution, also helped to reduce arrests.

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