Thousands of weapons and banned items seized by Suffolk courts security last year

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

More than 1,000 prohibited items were seized by courts in Suffolk in the last year, in an effort to crack down on potentially dangerous items making their way into the building.

The figures, released under Freedom of Information laws, revealed that 1,137 items were seized in the 12 months to August this year – up from 823 the previous year.

Among the banned items were tools, cameras, recorders, alcohol and other items such as umbrellas, drink cans and aerosols, which security guards deemed could be used as weapons.

A spokeswoman from the HM Courts and Tribunals Service, said: “HM Courts and Tribunals takes the issue of security within courts extremely seriously and has a robust security and safety system in place to protect all court users and the judiciary.

“This system includes mandatory bag searches, metal detectors and surveillance cameras, as well as court security officers who have legislative powers to protect all those in the court building.

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“The powers of the court security officers include the ability to restrain and remove people from the building should there be a need.”

Astonishingly, 85 knives and sharp objects were also removed by court security officers in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft, including fixed blade knives, pen knives and ceramic blades.

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The courts spokeswoman added: “Our security system is continually monitored to ensure that it is effective and proportionate, and mitigates against the risks faced.”

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