James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Children As Young As Four Have Been Caught With Knives In Schools
23 August 2019, 10:22 | Updated: 23 August 2019, 14:33
More than 1000 children were found with blades in school last year, police figures show.
A total of 1,144 knife possession offences took place in English, Welsh and Scottish schools in the last 12 months.
The youngest child found with a knife was a 4 years old in a Welsh schools.
Offers from the 36 forces that provided date have seized machetes, hunting knives and a samurai sword from children in schools this year, according to figures obtained by 5 News.
An 11 year old in Manchester reportedly replaced the nib of a highlighter pen with a blade, and told another pupil, "listen to me or else I'll stab you."
The number of knife offences in schools has more than doubles over the past five years. In 2014, there were 372 offences, last year there were 968.
Some schools, like Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School in Birmingham, carry out random knife checks on students.
Headteacher Helen Burrows explained the checks were brought in to teach children about the wider world."It could happen at any school at any time," she said. "I don't think a child bringing a knife into a school is a localised issue. It's a national issue."
David Simmons set up the Changing Lives charity in Harlow, Essex, to offer opportunities to young people at risk of getting into gangs . He acted after being threatened by a six-year-old with a knife when he was working at a school in north London.
Mr Simmons said, "he was threatening other staff members and saying that he was going to stab them so I've gone over trying to calm this child down."
"He's then said he's going to stab me and kill me."At that age you just wouldn't have thought that a six-year-old should be doing that. Why were they doing that?"
A government spokesman said, "no young person should feel the need to bring a knife to school, and our #knifefree campaign challenges the myth that carrying a knife makes you safer.""
We have strengthened teachers' powers so they can take action if they suspect a pupil has brought a prohibited item, including knives, into schools."
"These powers include searching pupils or their possessions if they suspect they have a weapon."
"Our serious violence strategy focuses on steering young people away from knife crime and we are also investing over £220m in early intervention projects."
A Scottish government spokesman said: "Scotland has adopted a public health approach to violent crime, tackling the underlying causes of violence and not just the symptoms."
And a Welsh government spokesman said: "There is a duty on local authorities and schools to ensure that schools are a safe environment for all."
"If at any point the environment within a school becomes unsafe, the school should ensure that the relevant authorities are informed so that appropriate support can be made available."