Wednesday, 3 September 2008

800 teenagers caught carrying deadly weapons last year

Nearly 800 teenagers were caught last year carrying deadly weapons - including 564 knives - a Daily Mirror investigation has found.

And so far this year, police forces have confiscated 287 weapons - 174 blades - from under-18s.

Two children aged nine and 10 were among those found with knives during random stop and search operations.

Strathclyde force seized at least one knife from youngsters every day last year - 376 in total.

But the overall numbers could be much higher because only a quarter of the police authorities we asked were able to provide figures.

Lorraine Dinnegan, of Holloway, North London, whose son Martin, 14, was stabbed to death last June, said: "These numbers are upsetting... that, a year on, so many other families would be mourning someone. It's appalling this has been allowed to grow so much."

"You need not just young people, but parents and other people to say that knives in Britain, like guns, like bullying, like racism, all these things are unacceptable."

John Johnson, whose son Kevin, 22, was knifed to death outside his Sunderland home by three teenagers in May said: "These figures show something urgently needs to be done about the knife crime epidemic. Anyone who thinks teenagers carrying knives is just a problem in big cities can see it is happening all over the country."

Charity Rainer Crime Concern said: "It is alarming to see the trend towards younger children being caught carrying knives.
"The main reason young people carry weapons is because they feel unsafe. What we need to get across is that if you carry a knife you are putting yourself in much greater danger."

No comments: