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Courts: Security

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 18874, tabled on 7 December 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many incidents of confiscation of (a) knives, (b) firearms and (c) other weapons in (i) magistrates' and (ii) Crown courts there were in each year since 2010.

Answered on

10 December 2015

This answer is a correction from the original answer.

The Department takes the issue of security within courts extremely seriously and has a robust security and safety system to protect all court users and the judiciary. Security procedures, including the detection technology used, is continuously reviewed to ensure that security is as effective as possible’

The number of confiscated knives, firearms and other weapons in Magistrates and Crown Courts are as follows:


Knives

Firearms (incl. Replicas)

Other weapons (tools and sharp objects)

Financial year

Crown

Magistrates

Crown

Magistrates

Crown

Magistrates

12/13*

322

1252

6

14

246

2325

13/14

705

3108

7

24

1994

12,388

14/15

3,469

3,439

12

19

4,063

12,701

Total

4,496

7,799

25

57

6,303

27,414

*Figures for 2012/13 include data for an additional 8 week period from 1 February 2012 when the Total Facilities Management (TFM) contract was introduced.

The figures provided do not cover the period prior to 1 February 2012 as there was no consolidated reporting of items confiscated from court users prior to the introduction of the Total Facilities Management contract. For the purpose of this answer only full financial years have been provided.

The increase in the number of weapons taken from people as they enter Crown Courts between 2012/13 and 2014/15 may be due to the implementation of more robust training for Court Security Officers; improved rates of recording for the taking of such items and improved searching of people entering Crown Courts.

Original answer

The Department takes the issue of security within courts extremely seriously and has a robust security and safety system to protect all court users and the judiciary. Security procedures, including the detection technology used, is continuously reviewed to ensure that security is as effective as possible’

The number of confiscated knives, firearms and other weapons in Magistrates and Crown Courts are as follows:

Knives

Firearms (incl. Replicas)

Other weapons **

Financial year

Crown

Magistrates

Crown

Magistrates

Crown

Magistrates

12/13*

322

1252

6

14

246

2325

13/14

705

3108

7

24

1002

6418

14/15

3,469

3,439

12

19

Currently unavailable

Total

4,496

7,799

25

57

1,248

8,743

* Figures for 2012/13 include data for an additional 8 week period from 1 February 2012 when the Total Facilities Management (TFM) contract was introduced.
** ’Other weapons’ are any items Security Officers deem could be used as a weapon, includes for 2014/15 items such as glass bottles and items which would not have been deemed as weapons. Robust analysis of the data is underway.

The figures provided do not cover the period prior to 1 February 2012 as there was no consolidated reporting of items confiscated from court users prior to the introduction of the Total Facilities Management contract. For the purpose of this answer only full financial years have been provided.

Analysis of the data for 2014/15 captured in the “other category” is currently underway to establish which items are or could be deemed as weapons, as the currently centrally held data represents a “catch all” and therefore may be misleading. I will write to the Hon. Member as soon as possible to provide clarity on that category.

Named day
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