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Offensive Weapons: Crime Prevention

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have passed through search arches erected under Operation Blunt in each month since the scheme was initiated. (219385)

To date no data are available on the numbers of people passing through such arches but monitoring of numbers, age and ethnicity is in place and data will be released at a later stage.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been found to be carrying a knife through the use of search arches under Operation Blunt in each month since the scheme became operational, broken down by (a) age, (b) gender and (c) ethnic background. (219386)

These data are not currently available in relation to search arches.

Search arches have been deployed as part of search operations for a number of years in London. Since late 2006, this technology has been used more extensively as part of public place search operations, often in relation to the public transport system. From 13 May 2008, search operations involving the use of screening arches have been increased under Operation Blunt 2. To date no data are available about the numbers of people passing through such arches but monitoring of numbers, age and ethnicity is in place and data will be released at a later stage.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many search arches have been erected in (a) schools, (b) colleges, (c) shopping centres, (d) transport hubs and (e) other locations under Operation Blunt in each month since the scheme was initiated; and how many knives have been discovered at each search point. (219387)

Search arches have been deployed on some 305 occasions in London since the commencement of Operation Blunt 2 on 13 May 2008. Further data relating to the precise location of deployment are not available.