1,000 weapons confiscated from schoolchildren in the past three years

Guns, axes and meat cleavers among of the weapons taken from pupils whilst at school

Jack Simpson
Thursday 24 April 2014 02:17 BST

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The number of weapons found on school children is on the rise, after it was found that nearly 1,000 weapons had been confiscated by schools in the past three years.

A Sky News investigation found that 981 children had weapons such as guns, axes and meat cleavers taken off of them whilst at school.

Of the 981 weapons found, 36 guns were taken in, with two of these being hand guns.

The problem is not restricted to just secondary school children. Nearly 80 primary school children, whose ages range from 4 to 11, had potentially lethal weapons taken off them.

The findings by Sky have led to a number of groups and individuals criticising the Government’s policies in dealing with the problem.

Jayne Walmsley, whose son Luke was murdered at a Lincolnshire school in 2003 aged 14, said: "Something is happening to the society we live in.

"We need to think and educate these kids. It's got to stop. We've got to do something about it."

More worryingly, the figures provided by Sky News do not paint the whole picture. Of the 52 police forces in the UK, 21 did not supply figures. This means that the number could be far higher than the report suggests.

Figures from The West Midlands Police could not be included because their numbers accounted for college and university students. Nevertheless, records from the police authority, which covers areas such as Birmingham and Worcester, show that over 500 weapons were taken off young people during the past three years.

Many feel the issue of weapons and young people is being ignored, and as a result, incidents of school pupils using weapons are becoming commonplace.

Chris Douglas, a youth worker with St Giles Trust, a group that engages with young people caught up in crime said:

"We're not hearing about stabbings because they're becoming more common," he said.

There have been calls for airport style security in schools to ensure that children are unable to bring weapons through the school gates.

This is a system that has been used in America for a number of years after high profile shootings in places like Columbine High School.

In reaction to the report by Sky, the Government said that more powers were being given to teachers to help them deal with the problem.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: "Teachers can now search pupils without consent, confiscate prohibited items and use force to remove disruptive pupils from the classroom when necessary,"

"We've also given heads the final say on expulsions by removing the right of appeal panels to put pupils back in the classroom."

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