Some 120 children who were roaming the streets after dark have been picked up by police in a national crackdown on youth crime.
Police and Children’s Services in 27 areas across England have spent two nights running Operation Staysafe.
On Friday night, officers in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, patrolled streets and rounded up youngsters drinking or causing low level trouble.
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
The youths were taken into “police protection” and their parents called to come and collect them.
By 8pm, more than 30 children as young as 11 had gathered on a housing estate in Rawmarsh. Some had clearly been drinking.
In just four hours, South Yorkshire Police picked up 12 children and took them to a local community centre where they were interviewed by Children’s Services.
Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police Meredydd Hughes told Sky News: “If they stay out of trouble in the future, actually that means that people like me and my colleagues can go and concentrate on real criminals.”