POLICE across the county have arrested children more than 17,000 times in the past five years.

The figures have been released through a Freedom of Information request to West Yorkshire Police. 

The data, which covers the period from December 1, 2016, to November 30, 2021, shows a total of 17,384 arrests were made where the detainee was under the age of 18. This included children as young as 10 years old. 

In nearly 85 per cent of cases, the individual arrested was a male and violence against a person accounted for nearly a third of all total child arrests.

In 47 per cent of cases no further action was taken and this was the top ranked outcome.

West Yorkshire Police said officers are encouraged to make use of alternatives to custody when dealing with child suspects to avoid youngsters being criminalised from an early age. 

“This ensures that we are not only dealing with criminality but we are working to divert children from following the wrong path,” said the force.

They said when a young person is taken into custody, the length of time they are detained is kept to the “minimum possible” and the number has decreased in recent years.