Hike in knives found inside Hackney schools: Youngest offender aged just 11
PUBLISHED: 08:13 17 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:34 17 November 2016
The number of knives seized inside Hackney schools has soared this term, with the youngest offender aged just 11, the Gazette can reveal.
Another child, 14, was kept in a police cell overnight because the kitchen blade he had hidden in his bag, pictured, was so large – nine inches long.
Police have criticised the “appallingly low” sentence handed to the teenager, who they believed was “on the edge of getting involved in a lot of trouble”.
They say it sends the wrong message to youngsters thinking about taking knives into schools – where the “safer schools” police team found seven secondary school pupils with knives in as many weeks.
The tally for each half-term period is typically between one and three.
But officers don’t know why the figure has peaked.
Some kids said they had been afraid of “killer clowns” – a bizarre phenomenon that saw a handful of violent attacks perpetrated by people in clown costumes across Britain in the run-up to Halloween.
The knife was found on the 14-year-old – who cannot be named for legal reasons – after a random search at his school.
The child was arrested and kept in a cell at Stoke Newington police station before appearing at Stratford Youth Court the next day, where he admitted possession of an offensive weapon. He was given a six-month referral order and a £20 bill.
“Not a lot, really,” said Hackney schools officer Sgt Ian Turner.
“The sentence was appalling. With young people it’s not the general practice to keep them in custody overnight, but in this instance I would say it sent out a stronger message than the sentencing.
“Keeping him in custody has to be approved by the Crown Prosecution Service and it’s very unusual to keep a 14-year-old in custody with no previous convictions. It was lucky the knife was found. It could have saved someone’s life.”
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