A new report from data gathered by the Press Association from United Kingdom schools has revealed that no lesser than 1,000 school children have been caught with weapons like knives over the last year.
More than 1,000 British school children caught carrying weapons ― Report
The weapons recorded by the retrieved data included knives, knuckle dusters, a hammer, and a Taser.
The children captured by the report included a child of four years old. A 14-year-old was also found in possession of a sword.
British education leaders reacted by branding the revelation “grim but unsurprising”.
Figures from 29 police forces in England and Wales showed there were at least 1,072 incidents in 2018 to April 2019 up from 831 in the previous 12 months.
Between April and August 2019, there were a further 311.
Putting into consideration that some notable forces such as the Metropolitan Police in the country have not released their data the obtained figure is presumed would be higher.
Lucy Martindale, a youth worker from south London who lost 11 family and friends to murder, gun and knife crime during a seven-year period, said: ‘The situation is getting worse, even just this year.
“Some young people I speak to say before they leave the house – where most people check they have picked up their keys and wallet or purse – they check they have their knives with them.
“There needs to be more collaborative action, not just government, but the community as a whole, parents, police, coming together and trying to come up with an answer.’
Knives, including lock-knives, pen knives and craft knives, were involved in 1,260 incidents across between April 2017 and summer 2019 more than half of the incidents reported overall.
In one case, Dyfed Powys recorded an unidentified four-year-old (one of the captured school children) who is said to have been in possession of an unnamed weapon.
They were unable to provide further details about the incident.
Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for children and young people, said: “Serious violence is a growing problem amongst young people and we continue to work closely with partners to address this.
“Police involvement in schools, whether it be officers delivering talks or [being] based in schools themselves… helps us to educate young people (school children) and explain why carrying a weapon is never the right choice.’
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, argued that cuts to policing and local support services are fuelling problems with weapons in society.
He said: “These figures are grim but unsurprising and reflect a growing problem over the prevalence of weapons in wider society.
‘The scourge of weapons has grown worse in recent years, and while there are a number of complex factors involved, a key issue has been cut in policing and local support services for vulnerable families.“Gangs have filled this vacuum and often pressure and groom young people into dealing drugs and carrying weapons.’
A British Department for Education spokesman told DailyMail: “Schools should be safe and disciplined environments for both pupils and teachers.
“We recently announced a £10 million investment to establish behaviour hubs so that schools with a track record of effectively managing pupils’ behaviour can share what works with schools that need it.
“We have strengthened teachers’ powers so they can take action if they suspect a pupil has brought a prohibited item, including knives, into schools.”