This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
This summer, UK Border Agency officers seized a record number of potentially lethal weapons, including stun guns, CS-canisters and machetes.
More than one hundred weapons were seized from passengers as they arrived in the UK from European destinations that included Bourgas in Bulgaria and Prague in the Czech Republic.
This represents the single biggest seizure at Robin Hood airport since it opened to commercial passengers. Last year, the UK Border Agency seized 3,400 illegal weapons from ports and airports in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber.
Mother and son caught
In one seizure alone, a mother and her 20 year old son tried to smuggle in 14 weapons as they returned home from a European holiday in July.
Officers found three canisters of CS gas, two knuckle dusters, one baton, and two finger-knives in the mother’s luggage.
Inside her son’s bag they found a back knife, two knuckle dusters, two batons, and a finger knife.
Both pleaded guilty and received four months suspended sentences each at Doncaster Magistrate court on 1 November.
The UK Border Agency worked alongside South Yorkshire Police to prevent these weapons ending up on UK streets. All the weapons will now be destroyed.
Andy Lumb, assistant director for the UK Border Agency in Yorkshire and the Humber said: ‘These were no holiday trinkets or souvenirs. All of these weapons could have caused serious injury or even death. It is an offence to attempt to smuggle weapons of this nature into the UK and ignorance of the law is no excuse.’
He continued: ‘The UK Border Agency treats attempts to smuggle offensive weapons and firearms very seriously. Thanks to the robust controls in place, our officers and criminal investigation teams are playing a crucial role in preventing these items from entering our communities.
‘Let this crackdown be a warning to those who are considering smuggling offensive weapons into the country, the UK Border Agency will seize your weapons and prosecute you.’