New data reveals breakdown of knife crime in Hampshire schools

Knife crime in city schools is on the increaseKnife crime in city schools is on the increase
Knife crime in city schools is on the increase

Arrests for having knives or threatening people with blades on school premises went from two to four in the city, according to new police data.

The News and Johnston Press Investigations previously revealed on an average day in the United Kingdom a child would be caught with a knife in a school. Previous Hampshire-wide figures provided by the county’s police force showed 24 reports of possession of weapons, not just knives, for under-19s in 2016 – up from 11 in 2012.

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But now a detailed breakdown shows the number of incidents of having a knife and threatening with knives has gone from two to four in Portsmouth between 2015/16 and 2016/17.

In Gosport there was only one incident of threatening with a blade on school premises each year.

The number of overall incidents dropped from six to four in Havant.

But since 2012 there have been 11 incidents in Havant schools, nine in Portsmouth, three in Gosport and one in Fareham.

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In total there were 24 incidents, with three involving ‘offensive weapons’ no bladed articles.

Including incidents outside of The News area, there were 74 knife crime incidents in Hampshire schools since 2012.

Previously Bay House School headteacher Ian Potter said he would not want to see body scanners brought into use in schools.

The Gosport senior teacher previously said: ‘I would prefer not to have them because I would prefer not to create an image that schools are akin to places where people are locked in.

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‘I would like to see the school as the heart of the community.’

Hampshire police’s force lead for knife crime, Chief Inspector Claire Taylor, said earlier this year that Hampshire has ‘a relatively low number of reports relating to knife crime’ in general.

Ch Insp Taylor said the force was working on ‘engagement with schools and partners’ to tackle the problem.