Knives, tools and recording devices: The items seized from Wellingborough, Corby and Kettering Magistrates' Court this year

Anyone who has ever been to court will know you get searched on the way in.

Thursday, 29th December 2016, 5:05 am
General view of Wellingborough Magistrates Court, Midland Road. ENGNNL00120130429123958

There are a number of items which, for obvious reasons, defendants, witnesses, or any member of the public cannot take in with them.

A Freedom of Information request by the Northants Telegraph revealed the items security guards have confiscated so far in 2016.

Corby Magistrates’ Court, which closed in July, was the only court in the north of the county where someone tried to enter with a knife.

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The blade, which was under three inches long, was duly confiscated.

At Kettering Magistrates’ Court, which closed in June, two recording devices were found, with one in Wellingborough.

Recording or taking pictures is banned inside a court and five cameras were recovered at Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court.

A staggering 29 tools were confiscated by security officers in Corby, which was only open two days a week.

Thirteen were found in Kettering, and nine in Wellingborough.

Corby also saw the most items of drink confiscated (22), compared to 15 in Wellingborough and six in Kettering.

In Wellingborough, 49 sharp objects – including needles, syringes and darts – were confiscated.

Across the three courts there were 73 items which fitted into the ‘other’ category.

Items to have come under that category in the past have included drink cans, aerosols and umbrellas.

A HM Courts and Tribunal Service spokesman said: “HM Courts & Tribunals Service has a robust security and safety system to protect all court users and the judiciary and these figures show it is working.

“The system includes mandatory bag searches, the use of modern security searching equipment and surveillance cameras, as well as court security officers with the powers to restrain and remove people from the building should there be a need.

“Under section 54 of the Courts Act 2003 an officer must, if they reasonably believe an article ought to be surrendered, request its surrender.

“If it is not surrendered, it may be seized.

“A notice detailing items deemed to be prohibited is displayed in the court entrance area.

“This list gives an indication as to the items that are considered to be prohibited, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.”