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Offenders: Offensive Weapons

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 24 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people received (a) custodial and (b) non-custodial sentences on conviction for offences which included the carrying or use of a knife in Essex in each of the last three years. (179237)

The following table gives the number of people sentenced for offences of carrying a knife from 2004 to 2006. These offences are having an article with a blade or point in a public place, having an article with a blade or point on school premises, possession of offensive weapons without lawful authority or reasonable excuse and possession of offensive weapons without lawful authority or reasonable excuse on school premises.

Figures for 2007 will be available from autumn 2008.

In such instances as a robbery or violent assault where an individual has used a knife or other offensive weapon then they will be sentenced for the more serious transgression, and the figures do not isolate the specific use of a knife in such circumstances.

Persons1 sentenced for offences of carrying knives or offensive weapons, by outcome, Essex courts2 , 2004-06

Offence

Statute

Year

Total persons sentenced

Non-custodial sentence

Custodial sentence

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

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

2004

179

132

47

2005

150

93

57

2006

149

108

41

Having an article with a blade or point on school premises

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

2004

1

1

2005

2

2

2006

2

1

1

Possession of offensive weapons3 without lawful authority or reasonable excuse

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

2004

123

94

29

2005

97

77

20

2006

105

86

19

Possession of offensive weapons3 without lawful authority or reasonable excuse on school premises

Criminal Justice Act 1988 Sec 139A(2) and (5)(b) as added by the Offensive Weapons Act 1996 sec 4(1)

2004

2

2

2005

1

1

2006

1

1

1 Principal offence basis.

2 Magistrates courts in Essex and the Crown court if committed by magistrates in Essex.

3 Will include knives, but information collected centrally does not provide a distinction between them and other offensive weapons.

Note:

These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

Source:

RDS-NOMS, Ministry of Justice