Convictions and cautions for first-time knife crime offenders in Derbyshire have reached an eight-year high, new figures reveal
They accounted for 76 per cent of all knife-related cautions and convictions in Derbyshire, and represented the highest number of first-time offenders since the year to June 2011.
The statistics include possession of, or threatening with, a knife or offensive weapon, and one sentence or caution can include multiple offences.
The figures also show that children aged 10 to 15 were convicted or cautioned on 32 occasions in Derbyshire – accounting for nine per cent of knife-related crimes in the area.
A recent report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on knife crime warned that children being excluded from school could be a ‘tipping point’ that leads them to pick up the weapons
Javed Khan, Barnardo’s chief executive, said a future with ‘no qualifications, no job prospects and no role models’ is making many young people vulnerable to gangs who coerce them into carrying knives
He added: “The Government urgently needs to work with charities, education, health, youth workers, the criminal justice system and local communities to find long-term answers and restore children’s hope, so they have a reason to turn away from crime.”
In Derbyshire, 34 per cent of convictions and cautions for knife-related crime led to an immediate prison sentence.
Mr Khan said: “Tough sentences are part of the solution, but we need to tackle the root causes and understand why those involved carry knives.”