NEWS COMMENT: Just one knife in schools is one too many

Today The News lifts the lid on the hidden knife crime threat in schools (front page and pages six and seven) which makes uncomfortable reading.

Schools are supposed to be the seat of learning for our teenagers and young children and somewhere they can interact with others to enable them to become the model citizens of tomorrow that we all want.

Just what are these people thinking about when they feel the need to carry a bladed implement – or any weapon for that matter – into the classroom?

It simply beggars belief.

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Together with our sister newspaper the i, and a Johnston Press investigations team it was found that weapon offences in Hampshire schools have more than doubled within four years.

Although Hampshire police would not divulge the figures on knives in schools, they did reveal they received 24 reports of possession of weapons, not just knives, for under-19s in 2016 which was up from 11 in 2012.

And according to city council data, since 2012, 24 pupils in Portsmouth alone have been excluded from schools for weapons-related incidents.

Nationally the figure is much worse according to the investigation with teachers discovering knives and other weapons concealed in pupils’ clothing and satchels on average once a day.

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MPs and education chiefs are quite rightly concerned about the numbers with Croydon MP Sarah Jones, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime, saying: ‘My fear is that a generation of young people are growing up desensitised to violence’.

There are suggestions that young people are carrying knives because they are scared.

On the face of it the Hampshire figures don’t appear too bad, but just one instance of a pupil in possession of a knife or other weapon, is one instance too many.