Girls threatened by knife-wielding boys

PUBLISHED: 10:25 15 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:01 22 October 2010

Two families spoke of their shock last night after a Norfolk schoolboy threatened fellow students with a knife.

Two families spoke of their shock last night after a Norfolk schoolboy threatened fellow students with a knife.

An investigation has been launched into the incident, which happened as two girls were walking to the Rosemary Musker High School, at Thetford.

Charlotte Atkins, 13, and Roxanne Turner, 12, who both live at the Abbey estate, were left shaken after being confronted by the 12-year-old boy at about 7.30am on Tuesday.

The two girls were walking along Gloucester Way when the youngster allegedly waved a four to six inch knife close to Miss Atkins' face and wiped the blade along Miss Turner's blazer jacket.

Neither girl was injured, but police and teachers from the Thetford school are treating the matter seriously.

The boy, also from the Abbey Estate, has since been questioned by police.

Ann Atkins, 34, said she was concerned about the safety of her children and hoped the school would deal sternly with the boy to send out a message that carrying knives would not be tolerated.

However, she was angry that the school did not notify her immediately about the incident.

“The school only called us two hours after it happened, and to begin with only said 'it was an incident with a knife'. They didn't tell us a knife had been waved in front of Charlotte's face. We only got the full details after the police had been to the school,” she said.

Zena Turner, 36, was also unhappy at not being given the full facts of the incident straight away.

She said Roxanne was “terrified”, but reported the matter straight to the school.

“I am really fuming about how the school has gone about this. The children get to school at 8am and I was not notified until the police were there two hours later,” she said.

The incident comes in the midst of a UK knife amnesty and a recent spate of attacks across the country. Last month, a 14-year-old boy was stabbed yards from his school in Birmingham and 15-year-old Kiyan Prince died outside his north London school.

Cath Cork, assistant head teacher at Rosemary Musker, defended the school's handling of Tuesday's incident.

She said staff reacted “swiftly” and “professionally” to the incident, which happened a mile from the school. She also praised the maturity of the two victims.

“We take the welfare and safety of our students very seriously and the boy has been temporarily excluded until we have further information. At no time was anyone on the school site under threat,” she said.

Insp Tim Peacock, from Thetford police, said the knife was seized by officers and the case has been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

“We are in the middle of a knife amnesty and we would advise strongly against anyone carrying knives and weapons. Anyone carrying a knife will only increase the danger level for themselves and others,” he said.

A total of 28 knives - ranging from butter to butcher's and flick to machete - were dumped in two supermarket bins at Yarmouth as part of Norfolk police's knife amnesty in just one weekend.

A ballbearing gun was also placed in the bins, in the town's Sainsbury's and Rainbow supermarkets.

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