Knives, airguns, chains, razors and metal bars are just some items confiscated from chil- dren in schools and an education campaigner has warned “this may be only the tip of the iceberg”.
According to information revealed to The Argus – since 2011 children across Sussex have been found in possession of an arsenal of blades and other offensive weapons while at school.
Figures released cover data from 2011 and 2012, with figures from 2013 unavailable, and show that almost one child a month was dealt with by police for bringing a weapon into the classroom.
In 2011, eight offensive weapons were confiscated in Sussex schools and in 2012 the total was 13.
Nine of the confiscations resulted in charges.
The figures covered both primary and secondaryschools, and it was not possible for Sussex Police to break them down further to tell how many were from which type of school.
The weapons included 15 knives, two air weapons, two metal/wooden bars, one razor and one chain.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Whilst any such weapons are a matter of individual concern, they have to be seen in the context of the hundreds of thousands of school attendances in Sussex every year.
“We work closely with schools to help ensure that they remain safe environ- ments, including our Neigh- bourhood Schools Officers who educate schoolchildren on a variety of topics includ- ing offensive weapons.”
Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “Although the total number of offensive weapons that have been confiscated and reported to the police in Sussex remains small, the increase between 2011 and 2012 will be a concern to many parents.
“Of course, we do not know how many weapons on school premises have gone undetected or unreported to police. “The information now released may represent the tip of an iceberg.
“Certainly, schools should be free to take what- ever reasonable measures are necessary to ensure that they provide a safe and secure environment for learning.”