THUGS have tried to smuggle guns and knives into Chester Magistrates Court, shocking figures have revealed.
Security staff seized a total of 86 prohibited items last year, including three genuine firearms and 16 knives.
At Chester Crown Court, a total of 102 items were confiscated with one knife being seized.
The figures were obtained following a Freedom of Information request by The Chronicle.
Security staff at magistrates court confiscated all three guns in April last year, while 12 of the 16 knives seized during the course of the year had blades longer than three inches.
Other prohibited items confiscated at magistrates court included tools (8), cameras (23), recording equipment (3) and alcohol (19).
A total of 14 ‘other’ items which security officers considered to be potential weapons, such as umbrellas, aerosols and soft drinks cans, were also seized.
The one knife confiscated at crown court was seized in January last year.
Security staff also confiscated 43 cameras – 15 of which were seized in September alone – as well as tools (21), recording equipment (7), alcohol (9) and other (21).
A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), said: “HMCTS takes the issue of security within courts extremely seriously and has a rigorous system in place, including mandatory bag searches, bag scanners, metal detectors and surveillance cameras, to ensure the safety of all court users.”
Chester Youth Court is included in the figures for Chester Magistrates Court. As it is based in the same building HMCTS do not record their information separately.