Drop in the number of girls arrested by South Wales Police
The number of girls arrested by South Wales Police has fallen by 44 per cent in the last three years, new figures have revealed.
Officers made 408 arrests of girls aged 17 and under during 2011 – a significant drop compared to 2008, when 723 arrests were recorded.
A change in procedure is being attributed to the drop.
The statistics were published following a year-long inquiry on girls conducted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women in the Penal System.
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Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “It is encouraging to see that South Wales Police are making fewer arrests of girls than they were in 2008, thanks in part to our effective campaigning.
He added: “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.
Fourteen police services recorded a fall in arrests of more than 50 per cent. 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.
Girls’ arrest figures for South Wales Police: