A NINE-YEAR-OLD is one of 30 children caught with a weapon at one of Dorset's schools in just two years, an investigation has found.

The youngster was found with a knife on school premises. However, the child is below the age of criminal responsibility, meaning police were unable to launch an investigation.

Two ten-year-olds and three 11-year-olds also took knives into school property in Dorset on occasions between 2016 and 2018, according to a Freedom of Information request to Dorset Police.

One 12-year-old is listed as having taken multiple knives, while a 13-year-old had a blade categorised by police as 'large'. A 13-year-old forged a homemade blade, while a 14-year-old is recorded as having had 'weapons'.

Knives were 'used or threatened' on five separate occasions.

Only three children were summonsed to court. The youngsters were made 13, 15 and 16 at the time of the alleged incidents.

Not all of those accused of taking weapons onto school grounds were children.

Three adults aged 46, 49 and 56 were also allegedly found to have knives. All three were charged with possessing an article with a blade on school premises.

Earlier this month, we reported that children as young as 11 are claimed to have been caught in a Bournemouth primary school with knives.

It is also alleged that Year 5 children had been vaping at the St James' Church of England Academy School in Pokesdown.

In a statement, headteacher Jeremy Payne confirmed that ‘two incidents’ had taken place.

“Two incidents took place at St James’ Academy earlier this month, and we have taken swift and appropriate disciplinary action with regards to the three students involved, including discussions with Dorset Police,” said Mr Payne.

In December last year, a young boy brought a vegetable knife into St Michael's School in Somerville Road, Bournemouth ‘in a misguided attempt to imitate an action film character’, a headteacher has said.

Headteacher Bob Kennedy said the “isolated incident” is a “very unfortunate choice by the pupil concerned”.

The boy was just eight.

Nationally, thousands of pupils have been caught carrying weapons in school — including some as young as four.

A 14-year-old was found with a sword, while knives, knuckle-dusters, a hammer and a Taser have also been seized by cops.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, argued that cuts to policing and local support services are fuelling problems.

He said: “These figures are grim but unsurprising and reflect a growing problem over the prevalence of weapons in wider society.

“The scourge of weapons has grown worse in recent years, and while there are a number of complex factors involved, a key issue has been cuts in policing and local support services for vulnerable families.

“Gangs have filled this vacuum and often pressure and groom young people into dealing drugs and carrying weapons.

“Schools are doing their best to tackle these problems, but they cannot possibly solve this issue on their own."