More than 1,000 knife convictions and cautions for Notts children

More than 1,000 Nottinghamshire children were convicted or cautioned for knife crimes in just more than a decade, figures show.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 2:22 pm

The Government has pledged to do more to protect young people from knife crime and get weapons off the streets, after knife and offensive weapons convictions among under-18s rose significantly across England and Wales prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ministry of Justice figures for Nottinghamshire Police show young people were involved in 1,052 of the 5,143 cases resulting in cautions or convictions between July 2010 and June 2021 – and 480 of those punishments were handed to children aged between 10 and 15.

Of the youngsters convicted in Nottinghamshire, most, 85 per cent, were first-time offenders, but 153 had at least one previous conviction and 10 had three or more.

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The latest national figures show nearly 38,500 punishments were issued to youngsters for knife and offensive weapon crime since July 2010 – 3,600 in the year to June.

Young offenders were sent to prison in 148 of the cases recorded in the last 11 years, while 500 investigations ended with community sentences and 338 led to a caution.

Nottinghamshire Police, which has two dedicated knife crime teams working to prevent incidents and target criminals who carry weapons, said its latest figures showed knife crime in the county had fallen by a quarter in the last three years and 10 per cent in the last year.

Superintendent Kathryn Craner, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We remain committed to reducing knife crime and safeguarding victims and will take any action necessary to do that.

“While we have seen a sustained reduction in knife crime in Nottinghamshire, we will never rest on our laurels and remain determined to drive it down further.

“We understand the devastating impact knife-related crime has on people’s lives on all sides, both victims and perpetrators, and the immense harm and upset it can cause within communities.

“That’s why we continue to work to educate people from an early age about the consequences and dangers of carrying a knife and getting drawn into violent crime.”

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The Ben Kinsella Trust, established in memory of a teen knifed to death at the age of 16, called for more to be done to educate young people on the dangers of knife crime.

Patrick Green, trust chief executive officer, said the national figures illustrated the negative impact knife crime was having on young lives, adding ‘no child was born carrying a knife’.

He said: “We should not forget young people are also increasingly likely to be victims.”

The latest national figures show nearly 38,500 punishments were issued to youngsters for knife and offensive weapon crime since July 2010 – 3,600 in the year to June.

That was up 6 per cent on the year before – though the previous year included the first national lockdown and coronavirus pandemic-related disruption to the justice system.

Of the cautions and convictions in 2020-21, 109 were in Nottinghamshire.

A Government spokesman said it was combining ‘tough enforcement’ and early intervention programmes to get dangerous weapons off the streets and divert youngsters away from crime.

He said every life lost to knife crime is a tragedy, adding an additional 20,000 police officers and increased stop-and-search powers would help save lives and ensure more weapons are seized.

The spokesman said: “Knife crime has fallen under this Government since 2019, but we are determined to do more.”

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