Shocking figures released this week reveal a sharp increase in knife crime among Cheshire’s children.
Fifty-three kids were caught with knives in Cheshire last year compared to 31 the year before - a rise of 58 per cent.
The Ministry of Justice statistics were given to the Chester Chronicle this week through the Freedom of Information Act.
They show that one person in six in the region who was caught with a blade from July 2015 to June 2016 was a child aged 10 to 17.
These are the highest figures in six years since 2009/10 when 61 children were arrested for crimes involving blades.
The worst year for knife possession in recent history in Cheshire was 2008/09, when 80 children were caught with knives.
Knife possession offences fall into three main categories:
- having a knife, blade or pointed instrument in schools or public places
- having an offensive weapon without good reason
- making threats using knives or weapons in a school or public place.
Children are dealt with more sympathetically by the justice system for these crimes than adults.
In the most recent three months just 15 per cent of youngsters caught with knives were jailed compared to 39 per cent of adults.
Meanwhile 26 per cent of children received a caution compared to just eight per cent of adults.
In July 2015 a ‘two strikes’ law came into force for anyone aged 16 or over who was found to possess a knife or blade.
Anyone on their second offence will do some time in prison or detention.