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  • "Whether schools should be obligated to inform the police if a knife is found on school premises is a moot point.
    It would seem depend on the discretion of the school an their response to the perceived threat:

    Possession of Blades/Points:
    The guidelines provide three categories of seriousness:

    Level One applies where a person has a weapon or bladed article, is not in a "dangerous circumstance" and the weapon or bladed article is not used to threaten or cause fear.

    Level Two applies where a weapon is in the possession of the offender in "dangerous circumstances" but is not used to threaten or cause fear.

    Level Three applies where a weapon is used in "dangerous circumstances" to threaten or cause fear.

    "Dangerous circumstance" has not been judicially defined but was used in the previous Court of Appeal guideline judgment in Celaire and Poulton. In relation to a knife, a circumstance is likely to be dangerous if there is a real possibility that it could be used.

    In making its decision on sentence, the magistrates' court is required to consider offence seriousness, (culpability and harm) and aggravating features and then go on to consider offender mitigating features.

    Offence seriousness (culpability and harm) A.

    Identify the appropriate starting point.

    Starting points based on first time offender pleading not guilty.

    Example of nature of activity: Weapon no used to threaten or cause fear
    Starting Point: High level community order where the offensive weapon is not a knife. Close to 12 weeks custody where the weapon is a knife
    Range: Band C fine to 12 weeks custody

    Example of nature of activity: Weapon not used to threaten or cause fear but offence committed in dangerous circumstances
    Starting Point: 6 weeks custody where the weapon is not a knife. A custodial sentence in excess of 6 months where the weapon is a knife
    Range: High level community order to Crown Court

    Example of nature of activity: Weapon used to threaten or cause fear; and offence committed in dangerous circumstances
    Starting Point: A custodial sentence in excess of 6 months (Crown Court)
    Range: Crown Court

    Offence Seriousness (culpability and harm) B

    Consider the effect of aggravating and mitigating factors (other than those within examples above).

    Common aggravating and mitigating factors - the following may be particularly relevant but these lists are not exhaustive.

    Factors indicating higher culpability:

    Particularly dangerous weapon
    Specifically planned use of weapon to commit violence, threaten violence or intimidate
    Offence motivated by hostility towards minority individual or group
    Offender under influence of drink or drugs
    Offender operating in group or gang.
    Factors indicating greater degree of harm:

    Offence committed at school, hospital or other place where vulnerable persons may be present.
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    Perhaps a police spokesman would care to offer an opinion............."
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Girls arrested for Cwmcarn school 'murder plot'

Campaign Series: Schoolgirls arrested in plot to murder teacher Schoolgirls arrested in plot to murder teacher

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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