Children carrying weapons in schools goes up 90% in five years

Photo: PA

The number of children found with knives and offensive weapons in schools has increased by almost 90 per cent over the past five years, according to figures obtained by ITV News.

Last year the youngest suspect was just nine years old and the year before an eight and nine-year-old were both found with offensive weapons.

The figures, obtained from the Met Police in a Freedom of Information request, show the number of children found with weapons went up from 152 in 2011 to 286 in 2015.

Between 2014 and 2015 alone there was a 24 per cent increase.

Police say that the increase could be down to more police officers being stationed in London schools.

Credit: PA

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he recognised there had been an increase in knife crime over the past few years with eight people being killed from stab injuries in London this year.

I think all schools should be talking to their students about this at a young age.

Our worry is that the head teachers think there's some sort of stigma talking about gangs and knife crime and violence.

All schools should be warning of the dangers of carrying a knife, the dangers of being involved in a gang and be giving them other ways of belonging.

We need to explain that when you carry a knife you're more likely to be a victim of crime.

– Sadiq Khan

Police say that due to the way crimes are recorded, the suspects could have been either within a school or near one when the offence happened.

The spokesperson added the increase in offensive weapons could be due to more police officers being stationed in schools up from 219 officers in 2013 to 270 in 2015.