At least 30 out of 1,000 young people were involved in weapons offences used for violent crimes over the last five years in Essex a new report reveals.

Essex Police responded to a Freedom of Information request asking for the number of offences committed by young people deemed as suspects aged between 10 and 17 years old.

Offences included attempted murder, threats to kill, assault with injury, rape, robbery and homicide which were recorded between 2014 and 2018.

Epping Forest, Harlow, Basildon, Colchester, Southend, Tendring and Thurrock all had a higher rate for the same five-year period.

Inspector Tom Mitchell, of the Brentwood and Epping Forest Community Policing Team, said:

“Last year, in the Epping Forest district, we saw the number of young people found with offensive weapons decrease from 109 in the previous year to 71.

“Of course, any young person involved in crime, or on the fringes of violent crime, is one too many, but I am pleased that we saw a decrease in young people carrying weapons in the district last year, meaning that just six in 1,000 young people came to our attention for these offences.

“We will continue to work with partners, including schools, social services and youth organisations to educate young people about the risks of crime, being involved in gangs and about the risk of carrying a weapon.”

In total Epping Forest 11,500 young people had been connected to one of these crimes.

Shockingly, 10-year-olds were found to be involved in criminal activities 1,541 the highest in mid-2017.

The number of knife and offensive weapons totalled to 395 in the district between 2014 and 2018.

Inspector Mitchell added: “We know that many young people feel that they need to carry knives for their own safety, and we’re working hard to change that narrative with continuing activity around Operation Sceptre, which focuses on proactive work to stop knife crime across the county.

“Sceptre sees us using knife arches at bus and train stations and using stop and search to ensure that people, regardless of age, aren’t carrying weapons.

“As a force, we also work closely with Trading Standards to ensure shops selling knives and blades are challenging underage customers who want to buy them.

“Anyone with concerns about knife crime should visit

If you know of someone carrying a knife or who may be involved in violent crime, you can call us on 101 or report it to Crimestoppers completely anonymously on 0800 555 111.”