Statement from Dr Alan Billings in response to the Howard League for Penal Reform statement that child arrests fall by 54 per cent.
“I welcome the big fall in the number of child arrests in South Yorkshire and across the country. I note that South Yorkshire’s fall is particularly marked when compared with similar force areas.
“Anyone brought into the criminal justice system at such a young age risks having their whole future blighted. As far as we can, we should find ways of dealing with what can often be quite challenging behaviour on the part of young people without involving the police.
“Where police are involved, this fall in numbers of arrests in part represents a willingness to give officers much greater discretion in dealing with young people. I welcome this development as well. We want police officers to be more thoughtful about outcomes and not simply add to a tally of arrests.
“One area that is giving serious concern, however, is the way posting inappropriate photographs on mobile phones and the internet can quickly get young people into trouble. This is something they, their parents and teachers need to talk more about.”