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Offensive Weapons: Schools

Volume 459: debated on Friday 20 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) arrests were made and (b) convictions were secured under section 139A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 for the offence of having an article with a blade or point or an offensive weapon on school premises in each of the last five years, broken down by age group. (131219)

[holding answer 16 April 2007]: Information on arrests for recorded crime offences under s139 and 139A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (as amended by s4(1) of the Offensive Weapons Act 1996) and s1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 (as amended by s2(1) of the Offensive Weapons Act 1996) are not separately identifiable within the arrests collection held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. The collection is based on persons arrested for recorded crime (notifiable offences) by main offence group (i.e. violence against the person, robbery, burglary, criminal damage etc) only.

Information on the number of persons found guilty for the offences requested in England and Wales for the years 2001-05 is provided in the following table, broken down by age group.

Number of persons found guilty at all courts for certain offences1,2,3, England and Wales 2001 to 2005

Age group

Offence description

Statute

Year

Aged 10 to 11

Aged 12 to 14

Aged 15 to 17

Aged 18 and over

All ages

811

Possession of offensive weapons without lawful authority or reasonable excuse

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

2001

4

136

976

3,765

4,881

2002

5

113

953

4,398

5,469

2003

4

135

832

4,432

5,403

2004

134

1,047

4,576

5,757

2005

4

124

999

4,601

5,728

826

Having an article with blade or point in public place

Criminal Justice Act 1988, Sec 139 as amended by Offensive Weapons Act 1996, Sec 3

2001

5

128

806

3,360

4,299

2002

2

134

812

4,333

5,281

2003

8

147

755

4,398

5,308

2004

5

170

817

4,792

5,784

2005

7

186

888

4,880

5,961

827

Having an article with blade or point on school premises

Criminal Justice Act 1988, Sec 139A (1)(5)(a) as amended by Offensive Weapons Act 1996, Sec 4(1)

2001

2

6

15

23

2002

6

10

3

19

2003

2

6

7

14

29

2004

11

16

10

37

2005

1

14

17

12

44

1 These data are on the principal offence basis. 2 Data for "having an article with blade or point on school premises" excludes convictions for West Mercia PFA until clarification of these cases is obtained. 3 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by police forces and courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.