Brian Brady
The UK Independent
February 17, 2008

Government U-turn over security signals attempt to get tough on teenagers who carry weapons

Parents will be told that they must allow their children to be searched at any time within school premises if they want to get them into the schools of their choice, under new plans to rid Britain’s classrooms of the scourge of knives.

The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, will put the battle against illegal weapons at the top of her agenda when she unveils her Tackling Violence Action Plan tomorrow. The blueprint for tackling knife-related violence will include a radical move to give police hundreds of metal detectors to catch young people carrying hidden weapons in schools, clubs and pubs.

The proposal to introduce “airport-style” security, particularly in schools identified as facing the greatest danger from the knife-crime epidemic, represents a remarkable U-turn for the Government, which had previously dismissed the idea as an overreaction.

But the proposals will also shift more responsibility on to parents, with a plan to make them sign up to tougher scanning and searching policies as a condition of entry when their children first apply for a school place.

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