More than 1,000 children were caught carrying knives in schools last year – with the youngest aged just four.

Lethal weapons seized by the police included machetes, hunting knives and even a samu­rai sword.

A total of 1,144 knife possession offences in schools, where the suspect was a child, were recorded in England, Scotland and Wales last year, figures from 5 News reveal.

Police in England and Wales said offences have more than doubled in five years – from 372 in 2014 to 968 last year.

Ex-teacher David Simmons, who set up the Changing Lives charity, said he was confronted by a six-year-old with a knife in a London school.

A total of 1,144 knife possession offences in schools, where the suspect was a child, were recorded in England, Scotland and Wales last year, figures from 5 News reveal (file pic)
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The Daily Mirror is campaigning to end the UK’s knife crime scourge

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Steven George, from the National Association of Headteachers, said referring the incident to the police isn’t always “the best option for that child”

The Daily Mirror is campaigning to end the UK’s knife crime scourge.