Police stop more than 40 children

Crime story
Crime story

MORE than 40 Wigan children, some as young as 12, have been stopped and searched by police in the last two years.

The figures were revealed following national criticism of police stopping youngsters who aren’t even old enough to appear in courts.

But they also confirm that in this borough at least no child under the criminal age of responsibility - 10 - was subjected to such a drill in 2012 and 2013.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children found 1,136 stop and searches were carried out over the last five years on minors under 10.

Its chairwoman Baroness Massey said: “We were surprised to find that despite the fact so many children are being stopped and searched by the police there is no practice guidance to inform how to deal with children, particularly those who are young or vulnerable.

“Many of these children will be in need of care and protection, possibly fleeing from sexual predators or gang violence.

“The police need to make sure that they don’t see children as small adults and do more to ensure they always adopt an age-appropriate response to every child.”

More than one million stop and searches were carried out on under-18s in Britain over five years: that is 26 per cent of the total.

In Wigan 42 young people aged between 12 and 18 were subjected to one last year and the previous one.

Enver Solomon, of the National Children’s Bureau, said the national findings showed the need for a new approach by police when dealing with young people. Greater Manchester Police had not responded to a request for a comment on the Wigan figures at the time of going to press.