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  • "Possession of Blades/Points

    Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 prohibits having with you, in a public place of any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed, (including a folding pocket knife if the cutting edge of its blade exceeds 7.62cm/3 inches) (Archbold 24-125).

    Section 139A of the 1988 Act extends the geographical scope of both of the above offences to school premises.

    For the purposes of sections 139 and 139A of the Act:

    a butterknife, with no cutting edge and no point is a bladed article; (Booker v DPP 169).P.368, DC);
    a screwdriver is not a bladed article; R v Davis Crim L.R. 564 CA);
    a "lock knife" doe not come into the category of "folding pocket knife2 because it is not immediately foldable at all times; (R v Deegan 2 Cr. App. R. 121 CA).
    Section 139AA of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 makes it an offence to unlawfully and intentionally threaten another person with an offensive weapon or bladed article in a public place or on school premises, in such a way that there is an immediate risk of serious physical harm to that other person.

    For the purpose of this section, serious physical harm is defined as grevous bodily harm. The term 'public place' has the same meaning as in section 139 above and 'school premises' has the same meaning as in section 139A above.

    Unlike an offence contrary to section 139, it matters not whether a person was initially in lawful possession.

    Where a person is convicted of an offence contrary to section 139AA the court must (in the case of an adult) impose a custodial sentence of at least 6 months, unless it would be unjust to do so. the power to impose a community order is not exercisable where the mandatory minimum sentence condition is met.

    In the case of a youth aged 16 or 17 when convicted, the court must impose a detention and training order of at least 4 months. The power to impose a youth rehabilitation order is not exercisable where the mandatory minimum sentence condition is met.

    in addition, if a person is found not guilty (whether on indictment or not) of an offence contrary to section 139AA, but it is proved that they committeed an offence contrary to section 139 or 139A they can be convicted of the basic offence in the alternative.

    Powers to search for blades/points

    The police power to search school premises for bladed and pointed article and offensive weapons was amended by section 48 Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 with effect from 31 May 2007 and allows the police to exercise this power if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence under section 139A (having a bladed or pointed article or offensive weapon on school premises) is being committed.

    Section 550AA Education Act 1996 gives members of staff power to search school pupils for bladed and pointed articles and offensive weapons.

    Section 85B Further and Higher Education Act 1992 gives members of staff power to search students at an institute for further education for bladed and pointed articles and offensive weapons. Section 47 Violent Crime Reduction Act 2007 extends this power to search to staff at attendance centres with effect from 1 October 2007."
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Girls arrested for Cwmcarn school 'murder plot'

Schoolgirls arrested in plot to murder teacher

Schoolgirls arrested in plot to murder teacher

First published in News
Last updated

UPDATE: 8.20pm

It is understood the girls were arrested after concerns about behaviour were reported, and a knife was discovered in a bag. It is also understood the threat to kill allegation involved a teacher, named locally as maths teacher Alison Cray, but that no confrontation took place


UPDATE: 4.34pm

Cwmcarn resident, Gary Lewis, told the Argus: "Living near the school, I see pupils all the time and you would never expect them to be carrying any sort of weapon as it's generally a good school."

His wife, Angela, added: "Both of our children are training to be teachers and I would be scared for their safety if schools don't introduce ways of preventing pupils from carrying weapons.

"Schools need to stop burying their heads in the sand and become more like American schools before another incident occurs."

UPDATE: 4.01pm

A statement on Cwmcarn High school's website, posted at 4pm today said the following:

"You may be aware that concerns were raised about a pupil in the school yesterday.

"Please be assured that that the concerns were dealt with swiftly. There was no risk to any staff or learner and the relevant support services were contacted as a precautionary measure.

"Cwmcarn High is a caring and safe environment and we are committed to everyone’s safety. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns."

UPDATE: 3.26pm

TWO TEENAGE girls were arrested at Cwmcarn High school yesterday for conspiracy to commit murder.

A Gwent police spokeswoman said: "Officers were called to Cwmcarn High School at approximately 11:54am, Thursday May 1, following concerns being raised about the behaviour of two pupils.

"Officers attended and arrested a 15-year-old girl from Newbridge and a 14-year-old girl from Risca.

"They have since both been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

"Nobody was harmed as a result of the incident, and the matter was resolved peacefully."

The 15-year-old girl from Newbridge was arrested on suspicion of threats to kill, possession of a bladed article on a school premises and conspiracy to commit murder. The 14-year-old girl from Risca was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.

A spokesman for Caerphilly County Borough Council and Cwmcarn High School said: "We can confirm that concerns were raised about a pupil at Cwmcarn High School yesterday which were swiftly dealt with by staff and Gwent Police.

“Support is now in place for both pupils and staff and we would like to assure parents that all appropriate steps were taken to respond effectively to the situation. We are now helping the Police with their enquiries."

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