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Schools: Offensive Weapons

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many incidents there were in schools involving the use of (a) knives and (b) firearms in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (153968)

Concerning the number of incidents in schools involving knives, I refer the hon. Member to my reply to questions 151219, 151220, 151232 and 151233 of 26 July 2007, Official Report, columns 1406-07W, which provides a table covering the period from 1999 to 2005 supplied by the Ministry of Justice. There is no comparable table for firearms carried in schools since there is no offence specific to schools. But schools are very safe places. The huge majority of pupils never wrongfully carry a knife in school let alone use one; and firearms in school are not an issue in this regard. Schools can screen pupils using metal detectors; they may also, if they wish, search without consent any pupil they suspect of carrying a weapon.