|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what percentage of people aged (a) under 16, (b) between 16 and 18 and (c) over 18 years who were convicted of possession of a knife in each of the last 10 years received a fine; and what the (i) average, (ii) smallest and (iii) largest fine in each year was. 
|Under 16||Aged 16 to 18||Aged 18 and over|
|Number sentenced||Number fined||Proportion fined (% )||Average (£)||Smalles t (£)||Larges t (£)||Average (£)||Smallest (£)||Largest (£)||Average (£)||Smallest (£)||Largest (£)|
The independent Sentencing Guidelines Councils Magistrates Court Sentencing Guidelines for possession of a bladed article (to be implemented on 4 August 2008) states that if the bladed weapon is not used to threaten or cause fear the recommended starting point is a high level community order. If there are mitigating or aggravating circumstances, the guideline suggests a range of a Band C fine (125 to 175 per cent. of weekly income) to 12 weeks custody. Where the weapon was not used to threaten or cause fear but the offence was committed in dangerous circumstances, the suggested starting point is six weeks custody, with a range of a high level community order to referral to the Crown Court. Where the weapon was used to threaten or cause fear and the offence was committed in dangerous circumstances the guideline states that the case should be allocated to the Crown Court.
Mr. Straw: Information on the numbers given an immediate custodial sentence and the average custodial sentence length in North Yorkshire for possession of a knife or possession of an offensive weapon (which may include knives) is shown in the following table.
|Average length of immediate custodial sentence( 1) for possession of a knife or offensive weapon, all courts, North Yorkshire, 2002-06|
|Number of persons and average length of sentence (months)( 2)|
|Offence description||Year||Immediate custody||Average custodial sentence length|
|(1) Excludes life and indeterminate sentences.|
(2) These average values are based on a very small number of cases.
These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
OMS Analytical Services
The Courts Proceedings Database from which this information is drawn does not identify separately the circumstances of an offence in which a knife was used. These offences are included in other offences of violence against the person (e.g. grievous bodily harm).
There will have been other offences such as grievous or actual bodily harm or violent disorder where knives were used. However, the information held by the Ministry of Justice on court proceedings does not contain information about the circumstances behind each case, beyond the description provided in the statute under which prosecutions are brought.
The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
|Number of defendants found guilty at all courts for knife possession offences( 1 ) in North Yorkshire police force area, 2002-06( 2,3)|
|(1) Includes the offences ofPossession of a knife or bladed article in a public place and Possession of a knife or bladed article on school premises|
(2) These data are on the principal offence basis.
(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Court proceedings databaseCriminal Justice Evidence and AnalysisOffice for Criminal Justice Reform
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|