A staggering number of children caught carrying and using knives in schools has been revealed by police. New and concerning stats, exposed by a Freedom of Information request to West Midlands Police, reveal 119 reports of children caught carrying and even using bladed weapons in the last 18 months. Figures from September 2016 to date, which categorised the figures into areas of the West Midlands, revealed the largest chunk of knife crimes took place at Birmingham schools.
Police recorded 69 reports of children carrying knives at Birmingham schools, whereas other areas had a significantly smaller number of knife-related crimes. The remaining statistics consist of 11 reports from Sandwell, ten from Coventry, nine from Wolverhampton, eight from Solihull, seven in Dudley, and five in Walsall schools. And the shock figures also revealed that two counts of attempted murder – both in Birmingham – were reported to have taken place inside schools in the last 18 months.
Children as young as 12 were caught using razor blades, flick knives, and even machetes within the last two years. And children aged 13 were found to have used blunt instruments, screwdrivers, and broken glass while at school. The figures come just weeks after a nine-year-old child was ‘threatened with a knife’ at a Birmingham primary school. Police confirmed they were investigating after a boy reported being threatened at Hillstone Junior and Infant School in Shard End on January 11.
Commenting on the figures, West Midlands Police knife crime lead Superintendent Ian Parnell said: “The offences will include those where knives have been seen, used or threatened. “We’re currently preparing for a major operation to tackle knife crime and those who think it’s acceptable to carry blades. “We will target wanted suspects, visit repeat offenders, carry out weapons sweeps of open spaces, and carry out test purchase operations to identify shops which are selling knives to under 18s.” He added that as part of the Precious Lives project, hundreds of thousands of school pupils have seen a ‘hard-hitting’ presentation by police to deter them away from knife crime.