Guns, knives and booze all found in Northamptonshire courts

Thousands of banned items were confiscated from visitors to our courtrooms in an 18-month period
Thousands of banned items were confiscated from visitors to our courtrooms in an 18-month period
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Criminals and members of the public had thousands of contraband items taken from them after they took them to local court houses.

Everyone entering magistrates and crown courts at Wellingborough, Corby, Kettering and Northampton is asked to walk through a metal detector and to have their bags searched before entering the court.

Security officers have found thousands of banned items that people have tried to take with them into court.

In Corby, there were 365 items taken from visitors between November 2012 and June 2014.

These included seven knives with blades of more than three inches and 13 smaller knives.

There were also 102 tools (screwdrivers etc) confiscated, 13 cameras, six recording devices and 141 bottles or cans of alcohol. Security guards also removed 83 ‘other’ items which included nail clippers, scissors, flammable body sprays, items that could be used as a ligature and disposable razors.

At Wellingborough Magistrates Court there was one large knife removed from a court visitor and 41 tools, 19 cameras, eight recording devices and 42 alcoholic drinks.

The total number of confiscated items was 132.

At Kettering, there were five large knives and five smaller knives, 20 tools, 18 cameras and seven alcoholic drinks removed.

Court officials also confiscated 49 ‘other’ items and four recording devices. The total number of items taken was 108.

A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service said: “We take the issue of security within courts extremely seriously and have a robust security and safety system to protect all court users and the Judiciary.

“This system includes mandatory bag searches, metal detectors and surveillance cameras, as well as court security officers who have legislative powers to protect all those in the court building. The powers of the court security officers include the ability to restrain and remove people from the building should there be a need. Our system is continually monitored to ensure that it is effective and proportionate and mitigates against the risks faced.”

Weapons seized at court

The more serious cases in the county are covered by Northamptonshire Crown Court in Northampton.

The court rooms there are very busy and are open on most days so have thousands more visitors going through the doors each day. They reported 12,994 banned items being taken into the courthouse during the period from November 2012 to June 2014.

These included 47 knives with blades of more than three inches.

There were 130 smaller knives confiscated by officers along with 103 tools including screwdrivers.

Officers also removed 265 cameras, 60 voice recorders and 577 alcoholic drinks.

In the ‘others’ section, which includes scissors, nail clippers and body sprays, were 11,812 items.

The figures were released by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service after a Freedom of Information request by the Northants Telegraph.