The number of people cautioned or sentenced for carrying a knife or offensive weapon has fallen by 16% since 2009, new Government figures have revealed.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said 5,466 offenders were caught between July and September this year, dropping from a figure of 6,490 during the same period in 2009.
According to the MoJ, the fall was more marked for juveniles, where the decrease was 28% (1,253 to 904), than for adult offenders, where the decrease was 13% (5,237 to 4,561).
The statistics also showed that just over a fifth (21%) of those convicted of possessing a knife or offensive weapon between July and September this year were were jailed - the lowest figure since the second quarter of 2008.
Since May 2008 tougher sentences have been introduced for offences involving the possession of a knife.
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