Monday, October 30, 2006

Soft targets

From the Times:

Police are massaging their crime clear-up rates by concentrating on solving minor offences such as cakes being thrown on buses and hair pulling in the school playground.

In some forces such offences, which involve suspects being questioned and warned but not charged, account for up to a third of all crimes solved.

Police chiefs are considering abolishing the practice because it is diverting officers from pursuing more serious crime.

Just to give some idea of the extent to which young people are being targeted for trivial offences: last year a quarter of all arrests were of 10-17s. Getting on for 50,000 of those arrests didn't lead to any disposal, and half of all disposals were by way of reprimand or final warning.

Considering how much petty 'crime' involves children, and given the apparently provocative effect of police action on their lives, a switch of emphasis would be welcome - before we drag even more children into the criminal justice system.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home