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Hull North MP backs tougher sentences for knife crime

Hull North MP Diana Johnson today backed a Commons move to introduce tougher sentencing for the repeated possession of a knife.

The amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill was passed by 404 votes to 53, with Lib Dem MPs opposing the crackdown.
It will mean that adults receive a minimum six month jail term on their second conviction for carrying a knife. 16-year-olds would be given at least a four-month detaining and training order.

Hull North MP Diana Johnson said: “With around 200 people a year being murdered with knives in this country, I supported this move to send out a strong message that carrying a knife is unacceptable.

“Now, someone caught, charged, prosecuted and found guilty of carrying a knife for a second time will almost certainly be sent to prison, unless there are particular reasons why they shouldn’t be. There will still be judicial discretion, but the message will be clear that those who repeatedly commit knife crime face prison.

“These measures were only passed because of Labour support in the Commons. David Cameron and his Tory Ministers abstained and Lib Dem MPs actually voted against.

“Yet again, the soft-on-crime Lib Dems have prioritised the rights of violent criminals over their victims. Lib Dems argue that sending those guilty of knife crime to jail will not help to rehabilitate them, but they ignore the fact that prison sentences are about punishment and deterring crime as well.

"On its own this move isn’t enough to rid our streets of the scourge of knives and gang culture, which is why it’s important that work is done with families, schools, colleges and youth clubs to prevent people carrying a knife in the first place.

“Last year there were 16,031 instances of someone being caught carrying a knife that resulted in action. Of these, just 28% resulted in immediate custody.

“The other 72% were let off with more lenient options, including over 3,200 people simply being given a caution or a fine. 4,415 people carrying a knife were given a community sentence.”

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