Youths carrying knives is becoming commonplace, even in law courts.

Thousands of knives and sharp objects are being confiscated annually at London family courts demonstrating a worrying trend in "desensitisation" among young people who don’t even seem to know it is illegal.

Data from the Ministry of Justice has revealed that 86 knives with blades longer than 8cm [the legal limit for an under-18 year old to purchase a knife] were seized in 2018-19 in 15 London courts. A year earlier the figure was just 18. In addition nearly 4,000 knives with blades shorter than 8cm like razors, pen knives and everyday cutlery were found in the same period.

Mandatory bag searches, metal detectors and surveillance cameras are used to find blades and anything considered an offensive weapon is confiscated and reported to police but the willingness of young people to take a knife to court suggests a worrying lack of awareness of the law.

The figures for shorter blades include items of cutlery, razors, pen knives, key rings and scissors which have been confiscated, as well as weapons.