SIX children aged 10-years-old were some of the 3,697 youngsters arrested by police last year, according to new figures.

A Freedom of Information request by the Howard League for Penal Reform -a charity campaigning for fewer people in prison and safer communities - found thousands of children were arrested in 2018.

This was a reduction on the number of under-17s arrested in 2017, when the West Yorkshire Police figure stood at 3,953.

According to the research, six children aged 10-years-old were arrested, 20 arrests were made of 11-year-olds and there were 93 12-year-olds arrested.

The majority of children arrested were aged 16 and 17-years-old - 1,036 and 1,256 respectively - and male.

There were 3,113 males arrested compared to 584 females in 2018.

Earlier this year, we revealed 5,684 youngsters to be kept overnight in police custody in West Yorkshire in the last five years.

In three of the last five years, the youngest people to be detained overnight in the county were aged just 10, with one of those being a burglary suspect.

Meanwhile, one West Yorkshire youngster spent 24 nights in police custody after being detained on multiple occasions between 2013 and 2018 when he was aged between 13 and 17.

All of these figures were provided through Freedom of Information requests.

Andrew Neilson, director of Campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: "These figures show a welcome and continued reduction in the number of child arrests during 2018.

"West Yorkshire Police should be applauded for their positive approach. Successfully reducing the number of child arrests means children are far more likely to have a bright future, free from the downward spiral of crime and custody.”

The Force explained that every time a child is brought into custody, a record is opened and every action taken is logged during their detention period.

Records of children detained are "dip sampled" each month by a central team and feedback is provided when it is necessary to do so.

All areas have close links with their Youth Offending Team and together they scrutinise detention of children detained overnight if they are charged.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "Children brought into custody are in a particularly vulnerable position; not only by the virtue of their age, but also because of the circumstances which brought them into contact with the police.

"They may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, recovering from recent trauma or coming to terms with events that may have lasting impact on their lives.

"When we deal with a child for a criminal offence officers are taught to consider all options, with arrest and custody being utilised only when necessity dictates.

"Custody Officers are taught Code G and are encouraged not to authorise detention of children who could be dealt with in another manner."