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Knife Crime (8/9/2016) (R013803)

Thank you for your request dated 26 July 2016 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) for the undernoted information:

“1. Please could you tell me how many children/youths in TOTAL  - aged 18 or under - were convicted/pled guilty to offences involving a knife or bladed weapon between July 1 2015 and July 1 2016?

2. Within the following age categories, please specify the nature of the crime (eg murder/assault/breach of the peace) and the type of weapon involved:

4-7yrs;    8-11yrs;   12-15yrs;    16-18yrs.

(EXAMPLE: 16-18yrs - 5 x murders (3 involving a knife, two involving a machete).”

I also refer to your conversation with our Communications Manager on 12 August 2016, when you advised you were content to amend the time frame of your request to July 2014-July2015.

Please note that the age at which a child can be prosecuted in Scotland is 12 years, accordingly, we can only provide the information requested for children/youths aged 12-18 years.

It may be that the Scottish Children’s Reporter hold information in relation to children under 12 years associated with offences involving a knife or bladed weapon and I attach a link to the relevant page of their website for your information:

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service's case management database is a live, operating database.  It is designed to meet our business needs in relation to the processing of criminal cases, and the information within it is structured accordingly.  We do not have a separate database, and hold only operational data needed for business purposes.

Your request refers to all convictions involving a knife or bladed weapon for persons under 18. A breakdown of this information is not readily extractable from our database and could only be obtained by examining all cases individually and in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600.  Under Section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under Section 12.

Accordingly I have provided the figures and breakgown for the number of convictions obtained in charges of contravening the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, Section 47 (possession of an offensive weapon);  and Section 49 (carrying a knife); such charges relating to children/youths aged 12-18 and broken down by type bladed weapon.  In respect of the charges under Section 47 (possession of an offensive weapon), these charges have been individually checked to provide information on those which refer to a bladed weapon.

It should be noted that the information provided relates to charges reported to COPFS between 1 July 2014 and 1 July 2015 on which a conviction was subsequently obtained; and it should be noted that one or more of the charges may relate to the same individual.