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Police praised as number of arrests of girls falls in Merseyside
9:22am Tuesday 19th March 2013 in News
Arrests of girls by Merseyside Police have fallen by 35% in three years, figures obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform reveal this week.
Merseyside officers made 1,393 arrests of girls aged 17 and younger during 2011 – a significant drop compared to 2008, when 2,127 arrests were recorded.
It comes after the Howard League launched a campaign aimed at keeping as many children as possible out of the criminal justice system.
Across England and Wales, police arrest almost 100 girls a day, although the overall number has almost halved in three years.
Police recorded more than 34,000 arrests in 2011, compared with more than 62,000 in 2008.
The figures were obtained under Freedom of Information rules.
Several police services in England and Wales have reviewed their arrest procedures and policies as a result of the Howard League’s engagement with them.
Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “It is encouraging to see that Merseyside Police are making fewer arrests of girls than they were in 2008, thanks in part to our effective campaigning.
"A significant fall in the number of children entering the justice system is good news for everyone striving to reduce crime and saves the taxpayer untold millions.
“Our evidence shows the police were arresting girls completely unnecessarily when they were out partying, often with the mistaken intention of protecting them.
"Now the police are handing out flip-flops and helping the girls home, a much more sensible response."
Girls’ arrest figures for Merseyside Police:
* The Howard League is the oldest penal reform group in the UK. It is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.