Teenage arrests have risen in Brighton and Hove despite falling across the rest of the county.
Figures obtained by The Argus show an increase in those aged 10 to 17 detained in custody in Brighton, but a drop everywhere else.
Sussex Police said there was “no simple reason” why the city was at odds with the rest of Sussex. In 2013 there were 1,011 people aged 10 to 17 detained in custody in Brighton, up from 1,002 in 2012 and 928 in 2011 – meaning a rise of nearly 9% over the three year period.
But the rest of Sussex has experienced a downward trend.
In Chichester for example, there were 328 detainees in 2013, down from 432 in 2012 and 542 in 2011 – a drop of nearly 40%.
In Eastbourne there has been a decrease of 44% from 830 in 2011 to 463 in 2013, while in Hastings the drop has been 21% from 504 in 2011 to 398 in 2013.
Inspector Gareth Davies said: “There’s no simple reason why the number of under-18s being arrested has gone up in Brighton and Hove but down elsewhere.
“What I can say is that in the city we have run a number of operations over the last year targeting antisocial behaviour and crime being commit- ted by young people and these have been very successful.
“As an example, as part of this we have been more proactive in checking the bail conditions of young people we have dealt with, so that they can be arrested if they are breaching the conditions.
“This may have contributed to at least part of the rise in arrests, but it has to be remembered that just because a young person is arrested does not mean they will go to court.
“National guidelines place a high threshold on the need to take a young person to court and in the city we refer all those who are arrested but don’t reach this threshold to the council’s youth offending service before a decision is made about what action should be taken against them.
“Instead of the young person going to court, we may be able to deal with them more effectively by using this multi-agency approach to educate them about the repercussions of their actions so they can be encouraged not to commit more offences.”