Northamptonshire Police have welcomed a drop in the number of child arrests and have said they will continue to explore methods of dealing with young offenders outside the court room.
According to new figures from the Howard League for Penal Reform charity, the number of children arrested by Northamptonshire Police has fallen by 58 per cent in five years.
The chief inspector for Northamptonshire Police, Nick Purdie, said: “The total number of arrests in the county is on a steady decline, which is as we would expect with significantly falling crime rates.
“The arrests of young people is in line with this trend.
“However, we do make particular efforts not to criminalise young people and arrests for minor offences are avoided.
“Northamptonshire Police works with a number of partners to engage with young people who may be involved in anti-social behaviour or causing a nuisance within a community to prevent any offending from escalating.
“The police cannot break the cycle of offending alone, whether for young people or individuals more generally, and we work with educators, social services and others in an attempt to divert offenders from crime.”
Howard League chief executive, Frances Crook, said: “It is encouraging to see that Northamptonshire Police are making significantly fewer arrests of children than they were in 2008, thanks in part to our effective campaigning.
“A sharp fall in the number of children entering the justice system is good news for everyone striving to reduce crime and saves the taxpayer untold millions.
“The challenge for police now is to maintain this trend.”