The number of under 18s arrested for recorded offences across Lancashire is at its lowest level for the past five years, figures reveal today.
Figures show that in 2010-11 8,031 people aged under 18 were arrested for crimes deemed ‘notifiable’.
A notifiable offence is any offence where the police force is required to notify the Home Office.
The figures have almost halved when compared to 2006/7 when 15,172 under 18s were arrested.
The figures have fallen each year between then and 2010/11.
In 2007/08 12,136 were arrested, in 2008/09 the figure had fallen to 9,897, by 2009/10 this had fallen again to 8,621.
The figures were made available on the They Work For You website.
Nationally 210,683 under 18s were arrested in 2010/11.
The Chairman of the Lancashire Police Federation Rachel Baines said she would expect the figures to go down because of the use of “other forms of disposal.”
She said one of the main forms is restorative justice - which she thinks is as much benefit to the victim as the offender.
Restorative processes bring those affected by crime or conflict, and those responsible for the harm, into communication, so that everyone affected can play a part in repairing the harm and find a positive way forward.
Rachel added: “I don’t think people under 18 should be criminalised unless absolutely necessary.
“Everyone deserves a chance.
“People make mistakes when they are young.”
Last week the Lancashire Evening Post reported that crime in the county is continuing to fall, according to Home Office figures.
The county saw a 2.1 per cent reduction in all crime from September 2011 to September 2012. This equated to 2,080 fewer victims of crime in comparison to the same period the year before.
During this time 97,070 crimes were reported to Lancashire Police, compared to 99,150 in the previous year.
However violent crime and burglary both increased.
Lancashire Police were yesterday unavailable for comment.