May 26 2013 Latest news:
BY NAOMI GORNALL
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
More than 340 knives have been seized at Ipswich’s courts over the last five years, new figures reveal today.
A Freedom of Information request by The Star shows a total of 201 weapons were found on people attending South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in the town between 2008 and this year.
All the weapons were knives and these were found either on the person or in their belongings by security staff. All seized weapons are confiscated and if they are not deemed to be unlawful, the owner can apply in writing to have it returned.
There were also 156 alcoholic drinks found and confiscated as contraband items.
At Ipswich Crown Court there were attempts to smuggle in 140 weapons over the same five-year period. Those found were penknives, unlawful knives and pairs of scissors.
There were also 53 alcoholic drinks found.
Neil Macdonald, deputy leader of Ipswich Borough Council and Safer Ipswich portfolio holder, said: “It’s fantastic that they are being found.
“You would think the average person going to court would know that there would be good security there.
“It must be stamped out. Witnesses should not be intimidated and should be able to go to court without any threat.”
An HM Courts and Tribunals Service spokesman said: “HMCTS takes the issue of security within courts extremely seriously and has a rigorous system in place, including mandatory bag searches, metal detectors and surveillance cameras to ensure the safety of all court users.”