Number of children arrested in Suffolk falls dramatically over last six years

Arrests of children by Suffolk Police have fallen dramatically in six years. Picture: Archant librar

Arrests of children by Suffolk Police have fallen dramatically in six years. Picture: Archant library. - Credit: Archant

The number of children arrested by Suffolk Police has fallen by 77pc in the last six years, according to figures published today.

Research by national charity the Howard League for Penal Reform found the force made 858 arrests of children aged 17 and under last year, compared with 3,716 in 2010.

Child arrests in Suffolk have dropped year-on-year since 2010, which the force says is 'encouraging' and highlights their commitment to steering vulnerable youths away from crime through partner organisation work.

Suffolk Police added while it will continue to take a robust stance against anti-social behaviour and crime, officers can use their discretion in dealing with low-level offences.

The Howard League, which works for less crime, safer communities and less people in prison, says the figures underline the success of its campaign – which began in 2010 – to keep as many children as possible out of the criminal justice system.


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The total number of children being arrested nationally fell 64pc in six years – from almost 250,000 in 2010 to 87,525 in 2016.

Frances Crook, Howard League chief executive, said: 'Suffolk police should be applauded for their positive approach, and the Howard League is proud to have played its part in a transformation that will make our communities safer.

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'By working together, we are ensuring that tens of thousands of children will have a brighter future and not be dragged into a downward spiral of crime and custody.'

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: 'It is encouraging that the figures show there has been a year-on-year decrease in the number of arrests of children aged 17 and under since 2010.

'In the first instance our aim is to guide vulnerable young people away from offending, via engagement and diversionary activities.

'If a low level offence has been committed, where appropriate and with the agreement of the victim, officers can use their discretion to deal via methods such as community resolutions to reduce the number of young people going through the criminal justice system. However, we do take a robust stance against anti-social behaviour and crime and will always take appropriate and proportionate action.'

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