ARRESTS of children by Avon and Somerset Police have fallen by 68 per cent in five years, figures obtained by the Howard League for Penal Reform reveal.

The number of arrests in the force area of ten to 17-year-olds fell from 9,169 in 2008 to 2,929 in 2013.

It follows a Howard League campaign aimed at keeping as many children as possible out of the criminal justice system and police across the country have reviewed arrest procedures and policies, a charity spokesman said.

The figures show that last year police in England and Wales made 129,274 arrests of children aged 17 and under.

These included 1,107 arrests of children aged ten or 11, meaning that on average three primary school-age children were arrested every day