More than 73% of under 35s arrested by Greater Manchester Police in 2011 were never charged – causing civil liberty campaigners to question the respect of human rights.
Of 63,481 arrests made in 2011, only 17,058 (26.87%) were charged with an offence, leaving 46,423 ‘potentially dissatisfied under 35-year-olds’.
Dr Graham R. Smith, of the University of Manchester’s School of Law, said: “Police may be interfering with the human rights of a large number of people without good reason.
“Every arrest interferes with the right to liberty under Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights, Article 5 is not violated if the interference is for the purpose of bringing a suspect before a court.”
Dr Smith said he suspects that Greater Manchester Police’s figures are not much different to any other services in England and Wales.
The Ministry of Justice were unable to provide the corresponding national statistics.
GMP said in response to their annual crime statistics being published earlier this year that there are a number of ways someone who is arrested can be dealt with – which means they could have been punished without neccessarily being charged.
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “For example, between October 2010 to October 2011, there were 4,348 Restorative Justice disposals in Greater Manchester.”
Restorative Justice is a process where parties involved in a specific offence resolve how to deal with its aftermath.
Director of civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, Nick Pickles, said: “For so many innocent people to be arrested must raise serious questions about how investigations are pursued.
“The force needs to recognise the concerns this raises and be open with the public about how they intend to address them.”