Nearly 400 children have been caught with knives and other offensive weapons in schools across south London, it has been revealed.
Figures seen by broadcaster LBC show there were 1,017 offences recorded by police of pupils “carrying a blade or other offensive weapons” on school premises between 2015 and 2018.
Last year there were 359 recorded offences in London alone, at an average of “nearly twice a day”, and up 15 per cent since 2016.
Kids’ weapons of choice have included knuckledusters, kitchen knives, butterfly knives and machetes.
The figures, published by LBC this week, come as 18 people have already been fatally stabbed during 2019.
Sophie, a teacher at a secondary school in Lewisham, spoke to LBC and said: “There's been a number of exclusions due to pupils carrying a knife onto the school premises.
“The worst occasion was a student who brought in a BB gun with real metal pellets, and shot another student in the playground. I was shocked by the violence and the genuine intent to harm.
“In secondary school we've seen it from Year 7 right through to Year 11 - there's no discrimination. What I've noticed is it tends not to be the ‘harder’ students - it doesn't tend to be the ones you'd expect. It's more likely to be your softer, more vulnerable students who are carrying a weapon as a form of protection.
“As a teacher, you might expect to be afraid, but often it's students I know well. It's so unpredictable. But when they are carrying knives, it's frightening.”
Scotland Yard told LBC that it is “working hard” to tackle crime in schools across the capital.
The force added that the rise in incidents of knife offences on school premises “reflects a general increase” in similar offences in London.
In a statement, the Met said: “We know some of the increased reporting is due to better police recording processes, and how we work. For example, we have increased the number of Safer Schools Partnerships across the capital which continue to focus on tackling serious youth violence.
“However, there is also a societal issue that cannot be tackled by police in isolation. What we need to look at is why there appears to be more of a willingness by young people to carry knives, seemingly under the false impression they will protect them.
“In truth, it only makes them more vulnerable and likely to either be the victim of knife crime themselves, or arrested.”
The number of offences recorded by police of children carrying a blade or other offensive weapons on school premises between 2015 and 2018, ranked by borough:
- Croydon (89)
- Lewisham (50)
- Southwark (44)
- Greenwich (36)
- Lambeth (35)
- Bromley (32)
- Bexley (30)
- Sutton (27)
- Wandsworth (23)
- Richmond (14)
- Merton (13)
- Kingston (6)
Total: 399 (1,017 in across London)
Source: https://www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk/ne ... ef=mr&lp=1
Photo credit: PA