TWENTY-FOUR children are locked up overnight in Derbyshire cells each week, new figures reveal.
Research by the Howard League for Penal Reform has uncovered that there were 1271 overnight detentions of children aged 17 and under in police stations across the county during 2011.
The figures are lower than in 2010, when 1481 children were locked up in Derbyshire – the sixth worst performing county in the country.
But now the charity is calling for the practice of holding children overnight in police cells to be brought to an end altogether.
Frances Crook, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Holding children as young as ten in police cells overnight is unjustifiable.
“The vast majority of children who are locked up are innocent of any crime, and it is a frightening and intimidating experience which does more harm than good.”