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Offensive Weapons

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 14 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people aged (a) 16 and under, (b) between 17 and 18, (c) between 18 and 21 and (d) 21 years were arrested for carrying firearms in (i) Stockport Metropolitan Borough, (ii) Greater Manchester and (iii) the North West in each of the last five years; (246072)

(2) how many people aged (a) 16 and under, (b) between 17 and 18, (c) between 18 and 21 and (d) 21 years were arrested for carrying knives in (i) Stockport Metropolitan Borough, (ii) Greater Manchester and (iii) the North West in each of the last five years.

The main arrests collection held by the Home Office covers arrests for recorded crime (notifiable offences) only, broken down at a main offence group level, covering categories such as violence against the person and robbery. From these centrally reported data we are not able to identify specific offences from within the main offence groups.

Under section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and section and 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 police have the power of stop and search for offensive weapons and firearms. Information on the number of arrests as a result of the use of these powers for possession of firearms and offensive weapons (which includes knives) is provided in the following table.

The figures reported to the Home Office on section 1 of PACE cannot separately identify searches for knives from the category of ‘offensive weapons’ reported to the Home Office. Additionally, the figures presented on arrests as a result of searches under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 include arrests for possession of firearms, knives and other offensive weapons, but cannot separately identify the article found. Figures for arrests as a result of stops and searches do not identify the age of offenders.

The data reported to the Home Office are at police force area level only therefore information on arrests in Stockport metropolitan borough is not available.

Arrests as a result of searches of persons or vehicles under selected sections of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and other legislation, selected areas by reason for arrest

Area/reason for search

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Stops and searches under section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

Firearms

Greater Manchester

59

67

90

144

123

North West Region

125

134

196

237

236

Offensive weapons

Greater Manchester

454

380

487

440

502

North West Region

1,112

987

1,309

1,253

1,675

Stops and searches in anticipation of violence under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 19941

Offensive weapons

Greater Manchester

37

37

36

4

9

North West Region

76

68

49

56

55

1 Data on searches under this legislation reported to the Home Office includes all offensive weapons and dangerous instruments but does not separately identify the article that was found.