Over 2,000 weapons have been seized from schools in England and Wales, with Freedom of Information requests showing samurai swords, axes, and air guns among the 2,579 weapons.
There are approximately 25,850 schools in England and Wales. The weapons had been found in two years to March 2017, according to Press Association analysis of data from 32 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. Police have reported a ‘worrying’ increase in young people carrying knives.
Schools have been working closely with police to ensure pupils’ safety. At least 47 children below the age of 10 were found with weapons, including three five-year-olds. One five-year-old had been caught with an knife and another was found with a ‘missile’ (a rock or a brick). There has been a 20% rise in weapons found from 2016-2017, when 1,369 weapons were found. The National Police Chiefs Council lead for knife crime, Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock, said, “We are responding to this trend by targeting those who carry them illegally and working with retailers to reduce the sale of knives to under-age people, through nationally co-ordinated operations.”
Police aim to educate young people and explain why carrying a weapon illegally is unacceptable. Involvement includes delivering talks and interactive sessions.