Hundreds of knives seized at Portsmouth Crown Court and magistrates' court

DOZENS of knives have been seized by security at courts in the city.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd January 2020, 5:44 pm

Figures from the court service show a more the extent of weapons found at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court and the combined building, which houses civil, family and crown courts.

Data obtained by the JPIMedia Data Unit revealed 815 weapons were found at crown courts in England last year.

Now The News can reveal 113 knives were found at the doors of both court buildings last year, down from 132 in 2017.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Portsmouth Crown Court. Picture: César Moreno Huerta

Read More

Read More
Latest crime news in Portsmouth, Havant, Gosport and Fareham

One weapon classed as CS gas or a Taser was found in October 2017 at the combined court building.

Security is in the spotlight after a man died when he poured acid on his face as he was jailed at Inner London Crown Court in April this year.

Responding to The News’ freedom of information request, the court service HMCTS said: ‘HMCTS take the issue of security within courts extremely seriously and have a robust security and safety system to protect all court users and the judiciary.

‘This system includes mandatory bag searches, metal detectors and surveillance cameras, as well as court security officers who have legislative powers to protect all those in the court building.

‘Our security system is continually monitored to ensure that it is effective and

proportionate and mitigates against the risks faced.’

In all 1,358 items were seized at both courts in the two years but the vast majority of those are classed as sharps. These include knitting needles, scissors or tweezers.

Patrick Green, chief executive of knife-crime awareness charity The Ben Kinsella Trust, said the figures were concerning.

‘With England in the grip of a knife crime epidemic it is very worrying to see that even our courts are not immune from this scourge,' he said.

‘It is concerning that some people feel the need to intentionally bring a knife to court even when they know that there is a high likelihood that they will be caught.’

Figures from JPIMedia Data Unit showed 95 weapons were seized at Winchester Crown Court.