Suffolk: Knives, metal bars, a knuckle duster and a samurai sword found on pupils at Suffolk schools

SUFFOLK: Knives, metal bars, a knuckle duster and even a samurai sword have been found on pupils at Suffolk schools, according to police.

However, despite more than 1,000 deadly weapons being seized nationally from children as young as six since the start of 2008, only 22 have been used or discovered in Suffolk during the same period.

Although teachers in the county believe the behaviour of pupils has deteriorated in general terms, they are adamant the weapons issue does not mirror the concerns in other parts of the country.

Suffolk police’s figures show there are an average of six incidents a year, virtually all of which have involved children between the ages of 12 and 15.

Half of the offences were for possession of weapons, rather than the use of them.

Most of the other incidents involved children being threatened with knives, including one child who sustained a cut to his face.

One 12-year-old held a knife to a pupil’s neck in 2009, while a samurai sword was waved at a child by a 15-year-old in the same year.

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Another 12-year-old hit a fellow pupil with a metal bar in 2008.

Only twice during the three-and-a-half year period was a staff member threatened. One incident involved a metal bar being used in 2010, while the other involved a knife brandished by a 14-year-old.

Graham White, secretary of the Suffolk branch of the National Union of Teachers, said: “There are far more issues in schools that concern staff than pupils bringing in weapons.”

Graham Newman Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder for children, schools and young people’s services said: “Compared to national figures, these figures are low.

“While this is not a significant issue for Suffolk, staff in Suffolk schools and in the local authority are vigilant in ensuring pupil and staff safety.”