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Offensive Weapons

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people were convicted of knife crimes in Northern Ireland in the last 12 months. (254938)

The information is not available in the format requested as it is not possible to separately identify the number of convictions for certain offences, for example murder, in which a knife was involved. It is only possible to provide conviction statistics for those offences which, in their definition, refer to an ‘offensive weapon’ (of which knives will be one sub-category) or ‘article with blade or point’. These are:

Armed with offensive weapon with intent to commit offence;

Possessing offensive weapon in public place;

Possessing article with blade or point in public place;

Possessing instrument with intent to commit an offence;

Possessing article with blade or point on school premises;

Possessing offensive weapon on school premises.

In 2006 (the latest year for which data are available), there were 242 such convictions.

Data are collated on the principal offence rule; so only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.