REVEALED: Knives and weapons found on schoolchildren, aged 10

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A meat cleaver, BB gun, air pistol, knuckle duster, knives, a screwdriver and an axe have all been seized from pupils, some as young as ten, in Derbyshire schools in the last four years, it can be revealed.

A Freedom of Information request to Derbyshire police by the Derbyshire Times has unveiled a list of 42 dangerous weapons in the possession of students in schools across the county between 2011 and 2015.

The shock statistics show an increase in the number of weapons being taken into schools in the last four years and, perhaps more alarmingly, that pupils as young as 10 and 12 are carrying them.

Chief Inspector, Richard Smith, said: “It’s important that youngsters know that carrying a knife can have serious consequences.

“It’s not a status symbol, it’s a weapon that can be used against you. Just carrying a knife could see you jailed for up to four years.”

The figures back up a survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) union in January which found that as many as four out of ten teachers across the country had experienced violence from pupils in the last year.

In 2015, police seized 12 knives from pupils aged between 10 and 16 in schools in the county, a small rise on the previous year.

In 2014, ten knives and an air pistol were found on students aged between 10 and 17,

Actions taken by Derbyshire police against the pupils in possession of the weapons ranged from charges, cautions, reprimands, final warnings and youth conditional cautions.

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “Taking weapons into schools is completely unacceptable and we take the issue very seriously.

“These types of incidents are rare in Derbyshire compared to other parts of the country and we work closely with schools and the police to prevent pupils from getting involved with knives and crime.”