Notts officers arrested 4,460 children in 2011
AN AVERAGE of 12 children were arrested every day by Notts Police last year, new figures reveal.
The force arrested 4,460 boys and girls aged 17 and under in 2011.
However, this marks a major fall from the 7,008 who were arrested in 2008.
The figures are revealed today by the Howard League for Penal Reform.
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Notts Police says the fall is down to more activities being available for young people and working with them to guide them away from criminal behaviour.
Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: "It is very pleasing to see that Notts Police are arresting fewer children than it has in the past.
"I hope this trend continues.
"Children who get into trouble are more often than not just being challenging teenagers and how we respond to this nuisance behaviour could make a difference for the rest of their lives.
"An arrest can blight a life and lead to a criminal record for just being naughty.
"The positive change in policing children will release resources to deal with real crimes."
Last year's figure, which equates to 89 arrests a week, was down from 5,743 in 2010, 6,114 in 2009 and 7,008 in 2008.
In spite of the fall, the 2011 figure was still higher than Derbyshire and Leicestershire, which recorded 3,938 and 2,865 respectively.
A spokesman for Notts Police said the Restorative Justice scheme was effective.
It has seen the force working closely with both the victim and the offender, and their families, to establish a solution that suits all involved, such as a written apology, or voluntary work in the community.
The spokesman added: "There has been significant investment and development in facilities for children and young people in Nottinghamshire in a bid to keep them occupied and out of trouble.
"We recognise that children sometimes do things without considering the consequences or the seriousness of their actions.
"In cases such as this, and where there is no previous misbehaviour and genuine remorse shown, we try to mediate between both parties to avoid progressing down the criminal justice route.
"Restorative Justice not only avoids children being criminalised for rash, misjudged actions, it is also an important tool in quickly reintegrating them into school so their education does not suffer as a result."
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