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Offensive Weapons

Volume 459: debated on Friday 20 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many and what percentage of people convicted under section 1 of the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 received a (a) fine and (b) custodial sentence in each of the last five years, broken down by age group; (131180)

(2) how many and what percentage of people convicted of having an article with a blade or point under section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 received (a) a fine and (b) a custodial sentence of (i) less than six months, (ii) six to 12 months, (iii) 12 to 18 months, (iv) 18 to 24 months, (v) two to three years and (vi) four years in each year since the Act was introduced;

(3) how many and what percentage of people convicted of carrying an offensive weapon under section 139A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 received (a) a fine and (b) a custodial sentence of (i) less than six months, (ii) six to 12 months, (iii) 12 to 18 months, (iv) 18 to 24 months, (v) two to three years and (vi) four years in each year since the Act was introduced;

(4) how many and what percentage of people convicted of encouraging violent behaviour involving the use of a knife under the Knives Act 1997 received (a) a fine and (b) a custodial sentence of (i) less than six months, (ii) six to 12 months, (iii) 12 to 18 months and (iv) 18 to 24 months in each year since the Act was introduced;

(5) how many people and what percentage of people convicted of carrying an offensive weapon under section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 received (a) a fine and (b) a custodial sentence of (i) less than six months, (ii) six to 12 months, (iii) 12 to 18 months, (iv) 18 to 24 months, (v) two to three years and (vi) four years in each of the last 30 years.

The information requested is contained in the tables.

Table 1 shows persons sentenced (all persons sentenced have previously been convicted) under the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 by outcome and age group for the years 2001 to 2005.

Table 2 shows persons sentenced for the requested offences relating to knives and offensive weapons by outcome and custodial sentence length since the Offensive Weapons Act 1996 amended or added to section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. No persons convicted or sentenced have been notified to the Home Office court proceedings database under section 2(1 )(b) of the Knives Act 1997.

Information is available only from 1986 to this level of detail for offences under the Prevention of Crime Act 1953.

Court proceedings statistics for 2006 will be available in the autumn.

Table 1: Persons1 sentenced for offences under the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act, by age group and outcome, England and Wales

Persons

Fine

Immediate custody

Otherwise dealt with2

Offence

Statute

Year and age group

Total persons sentenced

No.

% of persons sentenced

No.

% of persons sentenced

No.

% of persons sentenced

Making, selling, hiring etc ‘flick knife’ or ‘gravity knife’ etc

Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 sec 1 and Criminal Justice Act1988 sec 141

2001

Aged 10-17

1

1

100.0

Aged 18-20

1

1

100.0

Aged 21 and over

3

1

33.3

2

66.7

All ages

5

1

20.0

4

80.0

2002

Aged 10-17

Aged 18-20

2

1

50.0

1

50.0

Aged 21 and over

2

2

100.0

All ages

4

1

25.0

3

75.0

2003

Aged 10-17

Aged 18-20

Aged 21 and over

4

1

25.0

1

25.0

2

50.0

All ages

4

1

25.0

1

25.0

2

50.0

2004

Aged 10-17

Aged 18-20

1

1

100.0

Aged 21 and over

9

7

77.8

2

22.2

All ages

10

7

70.0

3

30.0

2005

Aged 10-17

Aged 18-20

1

1

100.0

Aged 21 and over

7

3

42.9

4

57.1

All ages

8

3

37.5

5

62.5

1 Principal offence basis.

2 Absolute and conditional discharges, community sentences and other miscellaneous disposals.

Table 2: Persons1 sentenced for various offences connected with knives and offensive weapons, by outcome, including immediate custodial sentence length, England and Wales

Persons

Immediate Custody

Fine

Total

Offence

Statute

Year

Total persons sentenced

No.

% of persons sentenced

No.

% of persons sentenced

Less than 6 months

6 months and less than 12 months

12 months and less than 18 months

Having an article with a blade or point in a public place

Criminal Justice Act 1988 sec 1 39 as amended by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 sec 3

1996

890

448

50.3

56

6.3

52

3

1997

3,341

1,177

35.2

372

11.1

347

15

7

1998

3,788

1,184

31.3

550

14.5

493

46

9

1999

3,548

1,026

28.9

534

15.1

493

34

4

2000

3,518

986

28.0

499

14.2

454

38

7

2001

4,303

1,146

26.6

589

13.7

536

47

3

2002

5,269

1,347

25.6

766

14.5

676

76

7

2003

5,311

1,275

24.0

755

14.2

668

69

13

2004

5,802

1,128

19.4

803

13.8

706

88

6

2005

5,957

951

16.0

965

16.2

850

89

23

Having an article with a blade or point on school premises

Criminal Justice Act 1988 sec 139A(1) and (5X1) as added by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996 sec 4(1)

1996

12

5

41.7

1997

19

4

21.1

3

15.8

3

1998

16

3

18.8

1999

16

6

37.5

2

12.5

2

2000

44

10

22.7

7

15.9

6

2001

61

18

29.5

3

4.9

1

2

2002

57

9

15.8

7

12.3

7

2003

88

14

15.9

6

6.8

5

1

2004

106

20

18.9

12

11.3

11

1

2005

45

2

4.4

5

11.1

4

1

Possession of offensive weapons without lawful authority or reasonable excuse on school premises

Criminal Justice Act 1988 sec139A(2) and (5Xb) as added by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996 sec 4(1)

1996

3

2

66.7

1

33.3

1

1997

19

2

10.5

4

21.1

3

1998

20

1

5.0

5

25.0

1

4

1999

20

3

15.0

3

15.0

2

2000

18

0

0.0

6

33.3

4

1

2001

19

2

10.5

3

15.8

3

2002

21

0

0.0

5

23.8

2

3

2003

21

0

0.0

4

19.0

1

1

1

2004

33

1

3.0

4

12.1

2

1

1

2005

30

2

6.7

3

10.0

1

2

Publication of any written, pictorial or other material in connection with the marketing of any knife—the material is otherwise likely to stimulate or encourage violent behaviour involving use of a knife as a weapon

Knives Act 1997 sec 2(1)(b)

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Possession of offensive weapons without lawful authority or reasonable excuse

Prevention of Crime Act 1953 sec 1 as amended by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 sec 2(1)

1986

4,961

2,511

50.6

505

10.2

385

89

15

1987

5,916

3,030

51.2

536

9.1

397

96

29

1988

5,804

2,994

51.6

498

8.6

341

104

43

1989

5,121

2,709

52.9

386

7.5

253

102

21

1990

4,288

2,300

53.6

210

4.9

142

53

10

1991

3,907

1,876

48.0

222

5.7

162

40

11

1992

3,608

1,655

45.9

233

6.5

160

53

16

1993

3,129

1,257

40.2

167

5.3

129

27

5

1994

3,302

1,269

38.4

216

6.5

161

44

7

1995

3,196

1,147

35.9

304

9.5

241

38

16

1996

3,545

1,094

30.9

401

11.3

310

66

17

1997

4,130

1,204

29.2

509

12.3

399

72

22

1998

4,375

1,223

28.0

585

13.4

490

67

16

1999

4,135

1,070

25.9

554

13.4

442

79

17

2000

4,108

964

23.5

595

14.5

474

84

25

2001

4,873

1,146

23.5

634

13.0

516

82

21

2002

5,441

1,129

20.7

787

14.5

629

103

31

2003

5,394

1,168

21.7

760

14.1

596

108

29

2004

5,758

1,037

18.0

817

14.2

652

120

28

2005

5,689

741

13.0

829

14.6

644

129

34

Persons

Immediate custody

Otherwise dealt with2

Offence

Statute

Year

Total persons sentenced

18 months and less than 2 years

2 years and less than 3 years

3 years and less than 4 years

4 years

More than 4 years

No.

% of persons sentenced

Having an article with a blade or point in a public place

Criminal Justice Act 1988 sec 1 39 as amended by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 sec 3

1996

890

1

386

43.4

1997

3,341

3

1,792

53.6

1998

3,788

1

1

2,054

54.2

1999

3,548

3

1,988

56.0

2000

3,518

2,033

57.8

2001

4,303

2

1

2,568

59.7

2002

5,269

6

1

3,156

59.9

2003

5,311

4

1

3,281

61.8

2004

5,802

3

3,871

66.7

2005

5,957

2

1

4,041

67.8

Having an article with a blade or point on school premises

Criminal Justice Act 1988 sec 139A(1) and (5X1) as added by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996 sec 4(1)

1996

12

7

58.3

1997

19

12

63.2

1998

16

13

81.3

1999

16

8

50.0

2000

44

1

27

61.4

2001

61

40

65.6

2002

57

41

71.9

2003

88

68

77.3

2004

106

74

69.8

2005

45

38

84.4

Possession of offensive weapons without lawful authority or reasonable excuse on school premises

Criminal Justice Act 1988 sec139A(2) and (5Xb) as added by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996 sec 4(1)

1996

3

1997

19

1

13

68.4

1998

20

14

70.0

1999

20

1

14

70.0

2000

18

1

12

66.7

2001

19

14

73.7

2002

21

16

76.2

2003

21

1

17

81.0

2004

33

28

84.8

2005

30

—-

25

83.3

Publication of any written, pictorial or other material in connection with the marketing of any knife—the material is otherwise likely to stimulate or encourage violent behaviour involving use of a knife as a weapon

Knives Act 1997 sec 2(1)(b)

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Possession of offensive weapons without lawful authority or reasonable excuse

Prevention of Crime Act 1953 sec 1 as amended by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 sec 2(1)

1986

4,961

11

5

1,945

39.2

1987

5,916

14

2,350

39.7

1988

5,804

8

2

2,312

39.8

1989

5,121

6

4

2,026

39.6

1990

4,288

4

1

1,778

41.5

1991

3,907

7

2

1,809

46.3

1992

3,608

4

1,720

47.7

1993

3,129

4

2

1,705

54.5

1994

3,302

1

3

1,817

55.0

1995

3,196

7

2

1,745

54.6

1996

3,545

6

2

2,050

57.8

1997

4,130

8

6

2

2,417

58.5

1998

4,375

7

3

2

2,567

58.7

1999

4,135

5

8

2

1

2,511

60.7

2000

4,108

4

4

4

2,549

62.0

2001

4,873

11

3

1

3,093

63.5

2002

5,441

12

8

3

1

3,525

64.8

2003

5,394

13

11

3

3,466

64.3

2004

5,758

9

6

2

3,904

67.8

2005

5,689

10

9

1

1

1

4,119

72.4

1 Principal offence basis.

2 Absolute and conditional discharges, community sentences and other miscellaneous disposals.

Source:

RDS-NOMS, Home Office

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of people convicted of encouraging violent behaviour involving the use of a knife under the Knives Act 1997 have been (a) female and (b) male. (131221)

Data from the Court Proceedings Database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform show that there have been no convictions for this offence.