POLICE were called to deal with 128 violent incidents in Cheshire schools in the last academic year.

The total was revealed in national figures uncovered by the Conservative Party following a Freedom of Information request.

But the data relating to Cheshire applies to the area covered by Cheshire Constabulary which also includes Halton and Warrington.

The figure relating to schools administered by Cheshire County Council alone is 73 incidents – 45 in 28 schools in the West and 28 in 20 schools in theŠEast.

Cheshire County Council spokesman Ian Callister said: “To put the figures in context,ŠCheshire has 319 schools –167 West and 152 East – andŠ 95,933Š pupils in secondary and primary schools.”

Nationally, officers responded to 7,311 attempted or actual violent crimes at schools, according to findings from 25 out of the 39 police forces in England.

Conservative children’s spokesman Michael Gove said the figures were worrying and teachers needed greater authority to tackle disruptive and violent youngsters.

“There will always be the odd occasion when teacher need to call on the police for support with a serious incident but at the moment they do not have sufficient powers to nip discipline problems in the bud,” he said.

But teaching unions described the statistics as scaremongering and said schools were safe places.

Fear of violence among teenagers has been exacerbated by numerous high-profile stabbings and similar gang-related crimes.

The Conservatives said their findings reflected the concerns about security expressed by teachers and parents.