Figures released by the Howard League for Penal Reform for 2014 have shown a further reduction in the number of child arrests in South Yorkshire.

Since 2010, there has been a 63 per cent decrease in the number of arrests of young people aged 17 or under, from 6,235 to 2,285.

This is a significant reduction and is much greater than the national reported average of 54 per cent.

Dr Alan Billings South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said:

“This is very welcome news. When young people are arrested it can blight the whole of their future lives.

“I attribute much of this reduction to the many local organisations that work to keep young people out of trouble and on the right side of the law.

“I particularly commend the work being done at the Lifewise Centre, in Hellaby, Rotherham. Since 2005, they have offered personal safety educational programmes, called Crucial Crew. These are delivered to year six pupils from across South Yorkshire. The course teaches young people about their responsibilities and how easily they could find themselves in danger or place others in harms way.

“There are also a number of restorative justice approaches in place that allow young people to take ownership of their actions, whilst keeping them out of the criminal justice system.

“These figures offer reassurance that measures are taking effect and more young people are finding their way in life without resorting to crime.”