Pupils as young as 7 carry knives

Daily Mail - - News - By Eleanor Hard­ing Ed­u­ca­tion Correspond­ent

CHIL­DREN as young as seven are be­ing caught with weapons in class­rooms but are too young to be pros­e­cuted.

Data from one of Bri­tain’s largest po­lice forces re­veals pri­mary school pupils are tak­ing knives into class.

Cam­paign­ers say the age of those caught with blades is in­creas­ingly fall­ing be­cause chil­dren fear vi­o­lence from other pupils at school or dur­ing their com­mute. Yet the au­thor­i­ties have few pow­ers to act be­cause any­one un­der ten can­not be charged with a crime.

Fig­ures from Kent Po­lice, ob­tained un­der the Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act by the Press As­so­ci­a­tion, show that be­tween April 017 and De­cem­ber 019, 109 chil­dren were in­ves­ti­gated for pos­sess­ing, or threat­en­ing with, an of­fen­sive weapon or blade.

Two of those chil­dren, aged seven and nine, were pre­vented from be­ing pros­e­cuted be­cause of their age. One tenyear-old was also let off for the same rea­son, sug­gest­ing they were sus­pected of com­mit­ting an of­fence while be­low the age of crim­i­nal re­spon­si­bil­ity. The data showed the most com­mon age for sus­pects was 14, with such chil­dren ac­count­ing for 3 in­ci­dents.

Five adults, aged 45, 35, 31, 19 and 18, were in­ves­ti­gated for hav­ing knives at school, sug­gest­ing par­ents and sib­lings may also be tak­ing vi­o­lence into play­grounds.

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