Knife crime in Dorset: 20 offences committed by children

Knife crime in Dorset: 20 offences committed by children

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:05am 1st November 2019.

Nearly 150 first-time knife crime offenders were convicted or cautioned in Dorset last year.

The figures come for the Ministry of Justice figures and show that 148 criminals were sentenced or cautioned for a first knife or offensive weapon crime in the year to June.

They accounted for 75% of all knife-related cautions and convictions in Dorset – and represented a 47% increase on the number of first-time offenders during the same period five years previously.  

The statistics include possession of, or threatening with, a knife or offensive weapon, and one sentence or caution can include multiple offences.

knife

The rise was bigger than that across England and Wales, where 14,200 first-time knife offenders received a conviction or caution in the year to June – a 25% rise since the 12 months to June 2014.

The figures also show that children aged 10 to 15 were convicted or cautioned on 20 occasions in Dorset – accounting for 10% of knife-related crimes in the area.

This was in line with the proportion of knife crimes by children aged 10 to 15 was across England and Wales.

In Dorset, 25% of convictions and cautions for knife-related crime led to an immediate prison sentence, lower than the 34% who went straight into a custodial sentence across England and Wales.

prison cell

Commenting on the nation picture Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan 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 said:

"To break the cycle of violence, we need to reach them before they reach for a knife.

"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."

two legs and feet in grass

Justice minister Chris Philp said the national figures show that those caught carrying a knife are more likely to be sent to prison, and for longer, than at any time in the last decade.

He added:

“But we are doing more to build public trust in the justice system – recruiting 20,000 police officers, extending stop and search powers and making sure the most violent offenders spend longer behind bars.”