Most people would associate knife crime with Birmingham's inner city.
So it may therefore come as something of a surprise to learn the part of the region where most knife-related offences with a school as the location is Solihull.
It's a fact that's particularly ironic given that many made-good Brummies migrate to the leafy suburb in order to take advantage of its schools.
The apparent anomaly arises because Solihull is the biggest single operational area covered by the force and therefore likely to have more schools than other areas.
It's also an indication of the care that must be taken interpreting raw crime data. The figures by West Midlands Police do, however, highlight some worrying trends.
A total of 244 offences involving a knife, sharp instrument or razor have taken place in, outside or near a school in the area covered by West Midlands police since 2004.
Of these, 60 resulted in someone getting injured. There were a further 42 incidents in which someone was threatened with a knife in or around a school.
One fatal stabbing took place during the period - the murder of Somalian Mustafa Saeed outside Holte School in Lozells in March 2004.
The figures show incidents of knives been used in or out-side schools has remained fairly stable over the the last few years. That might also come as a surprise given the heightened focus on knife-crime in recent months.
In May this year, 15-year-old Kiyan Prince died after being stabbed in the chest outside his London school.
A week later the Government announced a national extension of a knife amnesty West Midlands Police had already been running for two months.
Two days later, 14-year-old Birmingham pupil Ahmed Hussain was stabbed in the stomach while playing football outside Heartlands High School in Nechells.
Figures from a Youth Justice Board survey in 2004, however, revealed 51 per cent of pupils admit to carrying a knife and 38 per cent said they had taken bladed weapons to school.
In the wake of Ahmed's stabbing, campaign group Mothers Against Murder and Aggression (MAMAA), said metal detectors needed to be installed in schools.
That call was backed by the National Union of Teachers yesterday.
But Midland regional secretary Brian Carter stressed it must not be up to teachers to check pupils for weapons.
"What we don't want is for teachers to be in charge of that machinery and then be expected to confront students who have metal materials. It requires an outside agency to be responsible for that."
Speaking to The Post last month however, Secretary of State for Education Alan Johnson said teachers should be given the power to "stop and search" pupils for weapons.
He said the Violent Crime Reduction Bill will give teachers and headteachers that authority, but added tackling knife culture would take "more than legislation".
"The big problem is a cultural one where it is cool to carry knives, it is macho to carry knives, or you think you need to carry a knife because you might get attacked," he said.
West Midlands Police claims it is focusing on educating young people away from carrying weapons.
Superintendent Gordon Scobbie, who is leading the force's anti-knife drive, said: "We all want to make it culturally unacceptable to carry a knife. We want everyone in that key age range of 11 to 16 to receive education about knives and knife crime and to fully comprehend the seriousness of the situation, so that, at the very least, they can make a conscious decision rather than taking an unconscious journey."
What the Government said:
These figures show that annually in over 97 per cent of West Midlands schools, police have not been called to any knife incidents, which is what we would expect because the majority of schools are safe places.
In the small minority of schools where police were called the annual average was about one incident per school. While any incident is one too many, it is clear that serious incidents are still very rare.
We have significantly improved security in and around schools by making funding available, giving heads new powers and expanding the Safer Schools Partnership scheme which means there are now more than 400 police officers based in schools. We recommend that any school that believes it is at risk from knives should work with the local police to keep knives out.
In addition, new powers in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill will enable heads to search pupils, rather than having to wait for the police. ..SUPL: