Nearly 200 stop and searches in Suffolk involved children as young as 10, a report has found.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said youth crime was a top priority in the force after statistics were revealed at the police accountability and performance panel meeting which explored the issue.

A report looking into the use of police powers revealed 199 children between the ages of 10 and 14 were involved in stop searches in the year leading up to the end of September 2023.

Mr Passmore said: “It makes your blood boil when you read things like this — I find it deeply concerning and worrying.”

More broadly, over a fifth of stop search subjects, or just over 700, were under 18.

Ipswich Star: Tim PassmoreTim Passmore (Image: Newsquest)

Although the largest amount of stop searches in the last year occurred in Ipswich, it was revealed that those involving under-18s were eight times more likely in Mid Suffolk, the majority of which were related to possession of offensive weapons.

Mr Passmore said it was important to put youth crime prevention at the forefront of tackling the issue and make sure children were being brought up with the right opportunities.

He added: “It is a great concern because if youngsters at that tender age are involved in this sort of level of criminality, there must be serious issues behind the scenes.”

Core to solving the issue, Mr Passmore said, was also the fight against county lines operations which often involve vulnerable young people.

Other ways of dealing with the problem were discussed which included community initiatives such as the police cadets which help young people between 13 and 18 years old.