Lockdown imposed in Sydney school after knife-wielding student injures staff member

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Public TV English
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SYDNEY: Lockdown was imposed in a school in Sydney after a student wielding a knife entered the premises on Thursday and injured a teacher when they tried to confiscate the blade, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The Australian News Daily reported, citing the police statement, that Chifley College Dunheved went into lockdown on Thursday afternoon after reports of a student with a knife at the Maple Road campus at North St Marys. “A staff member sustained a small laceration while reportedly trying to confiscate the knife, prior to police arrival”, police said.

After the reported incident, the New South Wales (NSW) ambulance paramedics were rushed to the scene and treated the staff member while the child was taken to the hospital for an assessment. NSW Education Minister Prue Car said she was “deeply concerned” by the incident.

“No one should be taking knives to school and if they do, then the police will be called”, she said in a statement, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. “Our schools should be safe for all staff and students and my thoughts go to the school community and anyone affected”.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the devastating mass murder in Bondi Junction Westfield last month, and the stabbing of a bishop in Sydney’s west days later, have sparked concerns among police and the community about the rise in knife violence.

The Minns government this week announced police would be given new powers to scan people for blades in busy areas like shopping centres and around public transport.┬áThe laws are designed to target knife possession, particularly among teenagers, and was modelled on Queensland’s ‘Jack’s Law’ which allows police to use metal detecting wands.

“I know that many in our community have followed the devastating media coverage and heard the stories of victims and families – tragically, there have been so many recent examples”, NSW Premier Chris Minns said. “Our communities are still in mourning, but it’s essential that we step up to take immediate action to send a clear message that NSW will simply not accept these kinds of crimes”, Chris added.

The NSW Police have urged the NSW Sentencing Council to consider punishing parents who allow their child to possess knives. Police also suggested a separate offence for people caught with knives on public transport, saying it is a “high-risk” activity given the concentration of people.

Last year, the government doubled the penalties for knife offences, though data shows a long-term decline in knife crime over the last 20 years, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. There were 1878 robberies involving knives in 2005 in NSW. That number was down to 509 in 2023, according to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

Domestic and non-domestic assaults involving knives have also shown similar declines, dropping to 443 domestic and 545 non-domestic offences recorded in 2023. (ANI)

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