Skip to main content

Offensive Weapons: Young People

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people were (a) cautioned and (b) prosecuted for attempting to purchase a knife under age in each of the last 10 years; (248640)

(2) how many people were (a) cautioned and (b) prosecuted for selling a knife to a young person under age in each of the last 10 years.

Data provided by the Ministry of Justice, showing the number of persons cautioned and proceeded against for selling a knife or other article with a blade to a young person under age in England and Wales from 1998 to 2007 (latest available) are given in the following table.

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.

It is not an offence to ‘attempt to purchase a knife under age’—therefore no data can be supplied.

Number of offenders cautioned1 and defendants proceeded against for selling a knife or other article with a blade to a young person under age, England and Wales, 1998 to 20072, 3

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Cautioned

1

1

1

2

Proceeded against

1

2

4

4

9

6

21

43

32

1 From 1 June 2000, the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 came into force nationally and removed the use of cautions for persons under 18 and replaced them with reprimands and final warnings. These figures have been included in the totals.

2 The cautions statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been cautioned for two or more offences at the same time, the principal offence is the more serious offence.

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:

Evidence and Analysis Unit, Office for Criminal Justice Reform.