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Offensive Weapons: Sentencing

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people (a) were sentenced following conviction for the offence of possession of a knife in a public place in each of the last 10 years and (b) began to serve custodial sentences immediately, broken down by length of sentence. (244981)

The available information is contained in the following table.

Data held by the Ministry of Justice show the number of offenders sentenced to an immediate custodial sentence. It is not possible to determine how many of those offenders began serving those sentences immediately as some may have been released having served their sentence on remand.

Total number of persons sentenced1 and number given immediate custody for possession of a knife in a public place and length of sentences, 1997 to 2007

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Total sentenced

3,341

3,788

3,548

3,518

4,303

5,269

5,311

5,802

5,957

6,284

6,121

Total immediate custody

372

550

534

499

589

766

755

803

965

1070

1060

Up to 3 months

302

429

410

357

418

542

525

543

602

601

621

Over 3 months up to 6 months

59

99

109

130

156

187

192

225

304

398

349

Over 6 months up to 1 year

1

11

8

5

9

23

20

26

33

45

38

1 year exactly

4

7

3

6

1

6

10

4

16

15

33

Over 1 year up to 18 months

6

2

4

1

4

7

5

5

9

8

12

Over 18 months up to 3 years

2

1

1

3

1

3

7

1 These data are on the principal offence basis

Note:

These figures have been taken from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.