ARRESTS of children by West Mercia Police have fallen over the past five years.

Figures obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reforms revealed today (Tues May 27) that in the past five years arrests of children were down by 77 per cent.

Research shows the number of arrests in the West Mercia region, including Worcestershire, dropped from 7,580 in 2008 to 1,758 in 2013.

It follows a successful Howard League campaign aimed at keeping as many children as possible out of the criminal justice system.

Police services across the country have reviewed their arrest procedures and policies as a result of the charity’s engagement with them.

However, despite this positive trend, child arrests remain all too common nationwide with a child arrested every four minutes in England and Wales in 2013.

And last year, police in England and Wales made 129,274 arrests of children aged 17 and under. These included 1,107 arrests of children who were aged 10 or 11, children under 10 cannot be arrested. This means on average three primary school-age children were arrested every day.