Suffolk: Arrests of girls drops by 59%

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- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

POLICE have pledged to continue working with youths to steer them away from crime as new statistics reveal the number of girls arrested for offences has more than halved in four years.

New statistics reveal that the number of girls arrested by Suffolk police has steadily dropped between 2008 and 2011.

Officers made 410 arrests of girls aged 17 or younger in 2011, while back in 2008 there were 1,009 arrests recorded in the county.

In 2009, police recorded 886 arrests, with that figure dropping to 723 the following year.

The statistics provided through a Freedom of Information request revealed that Suffolk was one of 14 police forces in the country to record a fall in arrests of more than 50%.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: “It is encouraging that the figures show there has been a year on year decrease in the number of arrests of girls aged 17 and under since 2008.

“We are committed to steering vulnerable youths of all ages away from crime. To this end, we work very closely with partner organisations to identify and engage with those children to prevent an escalation of further offending.

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“Our specialist Safer Schools Officers and Safer Neighbourhood Team members also play a key role in identifying potential young offenders and will seek to address their behaviour directly before they move on to commit crime.

“However, we do take a robust stance against anti-social behaviour and crime and will always take appropriate and proportionate action.”

The data, which has been released by The Howard League for Penal Reform, comes after the League launched a campaign aimed at keeping as many children as possible out of the criminal justice system.