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Offensive Weapons

Volume 457: debated on Thursday 8 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many knife-related offences were committed in England and Wales in each of the last three years. (123883)

[holding answer 27 February 2007]: From the information collected on recorded crime, it is not possible to identify those offences which are knife related. Such offences are not specifically defined by statute and details of the individual circumstances of offences do not feature in the recorded crime statistics.

Figures are collected for homicides involving the use of sharp instruments but they do not separately identify knife-related offences. The Home Office is working closely with ACPO to develop a knife-enabled crime action plan and is seeking to collate the numbers of knife-related offences for grievous bodily harm through the annual data requirement in 2007-08.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the knife amnesty held in 2006. (124372)

The knife amnesty was held from 24 May to the end of June 2006. Over that period, almost 90,000 items were handed in to police in England and Wales. This constitutes a substantial quantity of potentially lethal items taken off the streets. However, the amnesty was just one facet of our knife crime strategy, which focuses on tough enforcement through targeted operations such as Operation Shield run by the British Transport Police, education programmes, including the Be Safe programme which teaches young people of the dangers and consequences of carrying knives, and support for wider prevention work. We also support community-based initiatives and projects through the Connected Fund, which was established in May 2004 and has supported 300 groups so far. A further round of funding totalling £500,000 was announced on 1 March 2006. The latest round of funding was launched on 1 March and full details can be found at:

Further work is currently ongoing, for example the development of a knife-enabled crime action plan in conjunction with ACPO, and enhancements to data collection to enable the identification of certain knife-related offences.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library copies of the agendas for meetings of his Round Table on Guns, Knives and Gangs. (125091)

[holding answer 5 March 2007]: I will arrange for copies of the agendas for the Round Table meetings to be placed in the Library of the House.