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Offensive Weapons

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) prosecuted for, (b) convicted of and (c) sentenced to prison for knife possession between (i) June and October 2008 and (ii) June and October 2007. (240933)

Data showing the number of people proceeded against at magistrates courts, found guilty and given a custodial sentence at all courts for knife possession, from 1 June 2006 to 31 October 2006 and from 1 June 2007 to 31 October 2007 in England and Wales, are in the following table. Data for 2008 are due to be available in the autumn of 2009.

The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence 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.

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts, found guilty and given immediate custody at all courts, for knife possession1, England and Wales for the periods 1 June 2006 to 31 October 2006 and 1 June 2007 to 31 October 20072,3

2006

2007

Proceeded against

3,258

3,288

Found guilty

2,720

2,729

Given immediate custody

499

480

1 Includes the following offences and statutes:

Having an article with blade or point in public place—Criminal Justice Act 1988 S.139A (1) (5) (a) as added by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 S.4 (1).

Having an article with blade or point on school premises—Criminal Justice Act 1988 S.139A (2) (5) (b) 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.

Source:

E and A Unit—Office for Criminal Justice Reform