Humberside Police warn in letter to Government that exclusions from school could lead to knife crime

Police and Crime Commissioners say school exclusions could lead to knife crime
Police and Crime Commissioners say school exclusions could lead to knife crime

Police chiefs in Humberside have joined others across the region warning the Government in a jointly signed letter that pupil exclusions could be contributing to a surge in knife crime.

Schools in North Lincolnshire are excluding twice as many pupils as in 2010 according to new data. Police commissioners from seven forces across England and Wales have written to Prime Minister, Theresa May, calling for urgent action to fix the "broken" school system.

The letter – which was co-signed by the Police and Crime Commissioners for the South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, and Humberside police forces – argues that exclusions put vulnerable children at risk of being sucked into violent crime.

In 2016-17, secondary schools in North Lincolnshire handed out 1,968 exclusions to children, the latest Department for Education data shows.

This was a rate of 22 exclusions for every 100 pupils. In 2010-11, there were just 942 exclusions, or 10 per 100 pupils.

"Clearly, the way the education system deals with excluded young people is broken," the police chiefs' letter reads.

"It cannot be right that so many of those who have committed offences have been excluded from school or were outside of mainstream education.”

Knife offences investigated by Humberside Police, the police force which covers the local authority, have almost doubled in the last four years, the latest ONS figures show. The force recorded 585 offences involving a knife or a sharp weapon between April 2017 and March 2018.

In 2013-14, there were 324 cases. Across England and Wales, the number of fatal stabbings hit the highest level since comparable records began, more than 70 years ago. Ofsted said it had seen no convincing evidence that exclusions lead to knife crime or gang violence.