Police praised for arresting fewer girls
ARRESTS of girls by
Merseyside Police have fallen by 35% in 3 years, figures obtained by
the Howard League for Penal Reform revealed. 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
It comes after the Howard League launched a campaign aimed at
keeping as many children as possible out of the criminal justice
Across England and Wales, Police arrest almost 100 girls a day,
although the overall number has almost halved in 3 years.
Police recorded more than 34,000 arrests in 2011, compared with more
than 62,000 in 2008. 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.
arrest figures for Merseyside Police
|2008 - 2,127
||2009 - 1,923
||2010 - 1,708
|2011 - 1,393
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 that 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. There are a very few girls who have welfare needs such as
poverty and substance misuse, or are victims of domestic violence
and sexual abuse. Rather than being criminalised, these girls need
protection from serious harm and support to help them mature into
law-abiding citizens. The challenge for Police services now is to
maintain this trend of arresting fewer children. Only last week the
Commons Justice Committee reported that too many children were being
criminalised for trivial incidents, so it is remarkable that,
although only 50 girls in the whole country are considered to have
committed such serious crimes to merit custody, Police carried out
more than 34,000 arrests during 2011. Reducing the number of
arrests still further would release resources to deal with real
14 Police services recorded a fall in arrests of more than 50%. They
were Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire,
Hertfordshire, Humberside, Lancashire, Northumbria, Suffolk, Thames
Valley, Warwickshire, West Midlands and West Yorkshire. Only
one Police service, City of London, recorded an increase.
The statistics were published following a year long inquiry on girls
conducted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women in the Penal
System. The inquiry found that responding to teenage girls'
behaviour too harshly or disproportionately can make it more likely
that they will be drawn further into the justice system, leading to
more serious problems.
Last December, the Howard League published data which showed that
the total number of children – boys and girls – arrested by Police
had fallen by 33% between 2008 and 2011.
In total, more than 1 million child arrests have been made in
England and Wales since 2008.
signs Victim Support Pledge
LANCASHIRE'S Police and
Crime Commissioner has signed a 5-point pledge committing himself
to support victims and witnesses.
'Five promises to victims and witnesses', created by Victim
Support, was signed by Clive Grunshaw on March 18.
Victim Support has asked all Police and Crime Commissioners to sign
the document, designed to ensure that victims come first by agreeing
to the following:-
► Be open and accountable to victims and witnesses, seeking out and
acting on their views;
► Ensure that victims and witnesses get the high quality help and
support they need, when they need it;
Make the Police more
victim-focused and more effective at meeting their needs;
Give victims and witnesses an
effective voice in the wider criminal justice system; and Constantly
work to develop new ways of delivering justice for victims.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, Clive Grunshaw, said:-
"I am very pleased to have signed the pledge; this is an
important document, ensuring all Commissioners remain focused on the
needs of victims.
Championing the rights of the victim is a key priority within my
Police and Crime Plan. I want to seek out and act on the views of
victims; this includes identifying and addressing the causes of
dissatisfaction and complaint within services received by victims.
A key part of successfully implementing this pledge will be
partnership working. I will continue to work with statutory and
voluntary agencies to improve support for victims."
Mark Barrow, Divisional Manager for Victim Support Cumbria and
Lancashire, added:- "Crime can, and does, wreck lives. All
kinds of crime can have a major and sometimes permanent effect on
victims and witnesses.
We think that society has a responsibility to offer people help and
support to cope during these traumatic times. That's what Victim
Support has been doing for nearly 40 years. But things are changing
and I welcome the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner's
decision to join Victim Support to improve things further for people
affected by crime in the County."
STEAM PACKET HOLIDAYS PARTNERS
SNOOZEBOX IN TT TASTER INITIATIVE
THE Isle of Man Steam
Packet Company and Snoozebox are teaming up to boost visitor numbers
even further by packaging the ferry operator's 'TT Taster
Offer' with spare capaCity in the Nobles Park-based rooms
during the quieter Practice Week period.
2 night packages start at just £205 for a motorcycle and rider –
which includes ferry travel and accommodation with breakfast. This
price is based on 2 people sharing a room, and extra nights can be
booked subject to availability. The offer is valid for travel from
23 May to 30 May 2013.
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said:-
"Many peak sailings have been full for some time and in November
last year we again announced the TT Taster Offer which proved very
popular. This latest initiative with Snoozebox will help boost
visitor numbers during the festival's quieter periods, maximising a
vital contribution to the local economy."