Arrests of children by Lincolnshire Police have fallen by 52 per cent in the last five years, according to new figures.
Research by the Howard League for Penal Reform has found that the force made 913 arrests of children aged 17 and under last year, down from 1,911 in 2011.
Across England and Wales, the total number of arrests has fallen by 64 per cent in six years – from almost 250,000 in 2010 to 87,525 in 2016.
The reduction coincides with a major Howard League programme, which involves working with police forces to keep as many boys and girls as possible out of the criminal justice system.
Frances Crook, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “For the sixth year running, we have seen a significant reduction in child arrests across the country. This is a tremendous achievement, and we will continue to support police forces to develop their good practice and reduce the number to an absolute minimum.
“We will continue to support police forces to develop their good practice and reduce the number to an absolute minimum,” she said.
“Lincolnshire Police should be applauded for their positive approach, and the Howard League is proud to have played its part in a transformation that will make our communities safer.
“By working together, we are ensuring that tens of thousands of children will have a brighter future and not be dragged into a downward spiral of crime and custody.”
Every police force in England and Wales made fewer child arrests in 2016 than in 2010. All but four forces brought down their number of arrests by more than half.
Nationwide, there were 703 arrests of primary-age children (ten and 11-year-olds) in 2016, a reduction of 18 per cent from the previous year.
Between 2010 and 2016, the number of children in prison in England and Wales fell by 58 per cent.
As in 2015, arrests of girls are falling at a faster rate than arrests of boys. Police recorded a 69 per cent drop in girls’ arrests between 2010 and 2016, and the number of girls in penal custody fell by 78 per cent during the same period.