Dozen children arrested every day in the West Midlands

More than a dozen youngsters are arrested every day across the West Midlands, new figures have revealed.

Dozen children arrested every day in the West Midlands

In the 33 months to September, police caught up with a total of 15,401 children under 18 years old.

The total number of arrests was 197,018, equating to, on average, more than 12 arrests per day.

Alarmingly, more than a quarter of the arrests – 51,507 – were related to violence against another individual. In addition, there were 26,260 arrests linked to theft and 15,007 for drug offences. And there were 5,786 arrests made linked to sexual offences.

The figures were obtained after a request was made to West Midlands Police under the Freedom of Information Act.

West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge said he was concerned by the data.

He said: "This is concerning. The fact there is so many arrests of younger people just shows the definite breakdown in respect for the law.

"There is going to be some blame within the education system, but perhaps parents as well need to look at this and take some responsibility for the actions of their children.

"If I had ever been brought home by the police when I was a kid I would be far more frightened about what my dad would have to say about it. I am not sure that is the case anymore.

"Maybe we need to get back to those more traditional values."

However the figures show a significant drop in the number of arrests among those aged under 18 from 90,163 in 2013 to 67,896 in 2014.

This year, to September 18, there had been 38,959 – suggesting there could be another fall year on year.

Following arrests made for violence against another individual, the majority were for 'non-reportable' offences, totalling 37,078, which are largely minor driving offences. In addition to the categories mentioned there were more than 10,000 arrests made relating to arson and criminal damage, burglary and public order offences.

The only category where the figures have risen year-on-year were for 'other' offences, which include begging and breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order.

Paul Betts, head of offender management for West Midlands Police, said: "Any child being arrested is a serious cause for concern and in recent years we have tried to look beyond the offence to understand why that child has become involved in offending.

"In the West Midlands we have seen substantial reductions in first time entrants into the criminal justice system, a reduction in the use of youth custody and falls in the re-offending rate.

"We aim to treat children as children and work preventatively to stop them developing entrenched criminal adult behaviour."

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