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Swords, axes and air guns seized from young pupils

By PA Reporters

Thousands of weapons have been seized from schools around Britain - with samurai swords, axes and air guns among those confiscated.

The majority of cases involved children, including some as young as five, according to figures released to the Press Association by police forces in England and Wales.

At least one in five incidents involved knives, while the data suggests an overall increase in the number of weapons found on school premises.

Police chiefs said there had been a "worrying" increase in young people carrying knives.

They said police work with schools to help educate youngsters on why carrying any illegal weapon is wrong.

Press Association analysis of data from 32 police forces that gave figures showed there were 2,579 weapons found from the 2015/16 financial year to this year.

In 2016/17 alone, among those forces that gave breakdowns, there were at least 1,369 weapons found - a rise of almost 20% on the previous year, despite this not covering a full 12-month period.

According to the 24 forces that gave details on the type of weapon, just under 500 of those seized (nearly 20%) were knives - including samurai swords.

At least 47 children found with weapons were below 10 years old, the age at which someone can be prosecuted.

They included three five-year-olds, one of whom was caught with a knife, while another was found with a missile, typically a brick or a rock.

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