from: Frances Crook’s blog
published: 23 July 2012
The Howard League has set itself the task of stemming the flow of people into the penal system and the first point of contact, where we can have the biggest impact, is the work of the police.
We launched a campaign a couple of weeks ago aimed at the candidates standing for election as police and crime commissioners, with the aim of getting them to pledge to consult and involve young people in conflict with the law. Recently we have been monitoring the arrest patterns of young people by the police, and I have been in correspondence with chief constables about the practices and policies in individual forces.
I am really heartened by the positive responses from police forces who have reviewed their work in response to our contact. I had a letter this week from the assistant chief constable of Hertfordshire constabulary. I have previously commended Hertfordshire’s work with prolific burglars.
The force has investigated its data collection of children arrested and detained during the night time period. Over the period January 2008 to October 2009 there were 4,309 children under the age of 16 arrested and detained and 579 of these children were held for at least four hours between midnight and 8am.