Children have been caught with a horrendous array of vicious weapons in Cambridgeshire.
The shock data comes after two mums whose young sons lost their lives in knife attacks urged people to hand in knives.
Last year (2017) a total of 114 weapons were seized by police after being found in the hands of youngsters – as young as 10.
They include three throw knives, five Stanley knives, 33 other blades, two flick knives and various other blades.
They were also caught with more unconventional weapons.
They included knuckle dusters, pepper spray, a hand gun, CS gas, a claw hammer, air guns, a baseball bat, hand axe, a taser and a screw.
A Cambridgeshire police spokeswoman said: “Any children caught carrying a weapon is a concern for us and we will work closely with our partners to consider the welfare of those involved, as well as investigating the circumstances of the offences.
“We run a number of education and prevention sessions in secondary schools talking about the dangers of carrying knives and other weapons.”
In Hertfordshire 100 weapons were taken from under-18s including 61 knives, two hand guns, two tasers and a cosh.
The details were released using freedom of information laws.
Mums plea to stop knife crime
Last June 27-year-old James Cromwell died of a single stab wound to the heart in Stretten Avenue, Cambridge.
His killer, 25-year-old Abdul Korim Ali, used the knife he was carrying after a row broke out between the pair. He is now serving a life sentence in prison.
James's mother, Linda Hall, hopes her son’s death will make people think twice about choosing to carry a knife.
Helen Frazier’s son Andrew Hasler, 28, died on January 8, 2016 after he was stabbed 17 times at his home in St Ives.
Matthew Sharpe, 40, of Eynesbury, was later jailed for 25 years.
The mothers are speaking out in support of a police knife amnesty campaign.
Figures released by Cambridgeshire police show that recorded knife crime in the county has risen by more than 25 per cent, which is in line with a national increase.
Between September 1 last year and January 30 this year, there have been 87 recorded crimes where a knife or sharp instrument has been used.
There has also been a 16 per cent increase in the number of knife possession offences, from 167 in 2016 to 194 in 2017.
Starting on Monday (February 12) members of the public will be able to hand in knives without prosecution as part of Operation Sceptre, a week-long amnesty.
The last amnesty was held in October and resulted in 90 bladed items being recovered.
Bins will be located at Thorpe Wood Police Station and Bayard Place in Peterborough, Parkside Police Station in Cambridge, as well as police stations in Cambourne, Ely, March, Huntingdon and Wisbech.
Chief Inspector Marcia Pringle said: "People carrying knives, particularly young people who carry knives do so without understanding the real consequences of using them, the devastation it can cause to those who are seriously injured or fatally wounded, nor the impact on the families who have lost loved ones.
"Helen and Linda’s stories illustrate the heartbreak and overwhelming grief they experience every day and will do so for the rest of their lives.
"Two grieving mothers who would never had experienced this if it wasn’t for the fact that the perpetrators were in possession of a knife.
"This knife amnesty is an opportunity to protect our loved ones from serious harm or a life changing conviction.
"If you have a son or a daughter, brother or sister, have that conversation with them, ask them if they carry a knife, and encourage them to stop.
"Encourage them to hand their knife in. That one conversation could be life changing and that one small action could be enough to save a life.”
It is illegal to:
- Sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old
- Carry a knife in a public place without good reason – unless it’s a knife with a folding blade three inches long (7.62cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife.
- Carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife.
- Use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife).
- The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.
Anyone who knows someone who carries a knife can also report it anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.
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