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Offensive Weapons: Hertfordshire

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people under 18 years have been convicted of offences related to the carrying of a knife in each year in (a) Hemel Hempstead and (b) Hertfordshire since 1997; and what range of penalties were imposed. (243981)

Data showing the number of people under 18 years of age found guilty of “Having an article with a blade or point in a public place” and “Having an article with a blade or point on school premises” in Hertfordshire police force area, and the type of sentence given for each year since 1997 are in the following table. Information on court proceedings are centrally collected only for each police force area, therefore data for Hemel Hempstead cannot be supplied.

Number of people under 18 years of age found guilty at all courts, with the type of sentence given, for “having an article with blade or point in a public place or on school premises”1, in the Hertfordshire police force area, 1997 to 20072, 3

Sentence given

Found guilty

Conditional discharge

Fine

Community sentence

Immediate custody

1997

7

3

2

2

1998

5

2

3

1999

3

1

2

2000

3

2

1

2001

2

1

1

2002

4

2

2

2003

15

15

2004

20

3

17

2005

21

2

2

15

2

2006

19

2

1

16

2007

18

1

17

1 Includes the following offences and statutes;

Having an article with blade or point in public place. (Criminal Justice Act 1988 S.139 as amended by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 S.3).

Having an article with blade or point on school premises. (Criminal Justice Act 1988 S.139A (1)(5)(a) as added by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 S.4(1)).

2 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

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 the courts and police forces. 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.