Offensive weapon possession in Sunderland - 115/20

Date Responded 31 January 2020

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

  1. How many incidents of offensive weapon possession have been recorded in each of the 5 Sunderland areas of police operation in 2019?
  2. If possible, could you list the age of the person and the type of weapon in each incident.
  3. How many weapons amnesty campaigns have been held in Sunderland in the past 5 years?
  4. Is it the policy of Northumbria Police officers to refuse to accept weapons handed in to police stations in Sunderland when a weapons amnesty is not in operation?

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

To note – all the below should be noted when viewing the figures.

We are interpreting point 1 to be asking for crimes.  We have done this as we cannot query ‘incidents’ by a crime type.

Additionally there are 7 areas of policing in Sunderland, not 5. We have therefore interpreted your request as being for Sunderland North, South, East, West and Central.  For the purpose of this request we have discounted  Washington and Houghton                                                                            

Please be aware that multiple weapons might be present within a single crime. The count of weapons will not match the total crime.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

One crime may have multiple offenders, or may have no known offenders. The count of ages will not match the total crimes.                                             

Only offences wherein the offence code revolves around possession have been counted. Offences wherein a weapon was used in pursuit of another offence have not.


  1. 42


Weapon                             Count

HANDGUN                        1

FIREARM                          4

KNIFE                                7

AIR WEAPON                   10

BB GUN                            1

SHOTGUN                        3

LOCK KNIFE                     3

TASER                              1

BLADE                              1

HAMMER                          1

AXE                                   3

MEAT CLEAVER              1

BODILY FORCE               1

SCREWDRIVER               3

CATAPULT                       1


BICYCLE CHAIN              1


BATON                              1

MACHETE                         1

BAT                                   1

GUN                                  2



Age          Count

13             1

14             1

15             1

16             1

17             2

18             1

19             1

21             1

28             1

30             1

37             1

38             1

40             2

40             2

46             1

47             1

58             1


3. Northumbria Police have not supported amnesties for a number of the years incorporated in your time frame, we have however carried out surrenders in the latter years and our response below covers both.

‘Amnesties’ & ‘Surrenders’  are not operated independently by Area Commands, these are force campaigns carried out by the whole force, and as such we can offer our response as below.

Northumbria Police were involved in a firearms amnesty between November 24 and December 1, 2014 and a knife amnesty in October 2015.

We also took part in a firearms surrender in November 2017, it was made clear that this was not an amnesty. Similarly we have done a firearms surrender in June 2019 and a knife surrender in September 2019.

4. It is not the policy of Northumbria Police officers to refuse to accept weapons handed in to police stations in Sunderland when a weapons amnesty is not in operation.



back to top