Drop in number of under-18s detained

The number of young people in custody in England and Wales fell in November 2005 for the second month in a row but was still higher than a year earlier, the latest official figures show.

There were 2,395 under-18s held in prison accommodation at 30 November 2005, up 1 per cent on a year earlier but down 3 per cent on October’s figure, according to the Home Office.

There was also a fall in November in the number of young people held in secure training centres and local authority secure children’s homes, bringing the total number of under-18s in custody to 2,868, down 80 from October.

The number of under-18s in custody hit a three-year high of almost 3,000 at the end of September 2005.

In November, the Youth Justice Board revealed plans to introduce more “open” beds for young offenders (news, 1 December 2005).

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