Ten-year-olds among hundreds of knife convictions and cautions handed out to Northamptonshire children

Shocking figures follow killing of two 16-year-olds in the county this year

Friday, 26th November 2021, 12:01 pm
Updated Friday, 26th November 2021, 12:04 pm

Hundreds of children as young as ten years old were convicted or cautioned for knife crimes in Northamptonshire during the last decade, figures show.

The shocking figures come after 12-year-old girl, Ava White, died following a stabbing incident in Liverpool city centre on Thursday night (November 25).

Four boys – one aged 13, two 14-year-olds and one aged 15 — all from Toxteth have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

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Police are spreading powerful messages in a bid to combat knife crime among kids in the county

Ministry of Justice data show young people were involved in 415 of 2,461 cases involving bladed weapons in Northamptonshire, which resulted in cautions or convictions between July 2010 and June 2021.

Of those, 54 punishments were handed down in the year to March 2021 while 186 during the last ten years have been for schoolkids aged between ten and 15.

The true scale of crimes involving children is likely to be higher as the data is limited to the possession of knives or offensive weapons and threats involving such weapons – it does not include assaults, murders or other kinds of weapons offences.

Of the youngsters convicted in Northamptonshire, 93 percent were first time offenders. But 28 had at least one previous conviction, and five had three or more.

Rayon Pennycook (left) and Dylan Holliday were both 16 when they died following knife attacks this year

Young offenders were sent to prison in 26 of the cases recorded in the last 11 years, while 174 investigations ended with community sentences and 188 led to a caution being issued.

The Ben Kinsella Trust, established in memory of a teen knifed to death at the age of 16, called for more to be done to educate young people on the dangers of knife crime.

The charity's CEO, Patrick Green, said the figures illustrated the negative impact knife crime was having on young lives, adding 'no child was born carrying a knife.'

He said: "We should not forget that young people are also increasingly likely to be victims."

Northamptonshire Police launched its own high-profile anti-knife crime campaign in the wake of a series of incidents this year and figures which revealed an average of two blade-related assaults EVERY DAY in our county.

Two 16-year-olds have died in knife attacks in the county this year.

The trial of a teenager who denies murdering 16-year-old Rayon Pennycook in Corby in May is expected to last another two weeks.

Two teenage boys have also been charged with killing 16-year-old Dylan Holliday, who died in Wellingborough, on August 5.

In Northampton, two 18-year-olds were rushed to hospital with serious knife wounds following a stabbing at Elysium nightclub in Northampton town centre last month.

A 16-year-old boy was seriously injured in a knife attack in Abington Street in September.

Despite that, the rate of knife crime among under-18s in the county actually fell from 52 per 100,000 in 2019 to 32 per 100,000 — its lowest level in six years.

The force lead for knife crime, Adam Ward, said: "Sadly we have seen the harm caused to families and communities through the tragic loss of life relating to knife crime.

"It is devastating, which is why it is a matter of priority to us and why it’s important to dispel the myths around carrying a knife."

■ To report knife crime call 101 or click HERE – always call 999 in an emergency. If you would rather remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.