Hull MP backs new knife amnesty

Hull North MP Diana Johnson today endorsed a new drive to tackle knife crime and violence.

The Home Secretary Charles Clarke has announced a nationwide knives amnesty, to be held between 24 May and 30 June. This will be backed up by a tough police enforcement campaign to drive home the message that carrying knives is unacceptable.

The amnesty will target those who carry knives and offensive weapons. A public campaign supporting the amnesty will urge people to hand in their knives during the five week period, when they will be immune from prosecution for possessing them.

The Violent Crime Reduction Bill, currently before Parliament, will also strengthen the laws on knives still further.

Diana Johnson MP said: "This knife amnesty is about to creating safer streets. Previous amnesties like this have already taken deadly weapons off the streets.

"Often those who carry a knife or dangerous weapon mistakenly believe they are protecting themselves, but coupled with drink or drugs carrying these weapons all too often leads to bloodshed.

"I hope that people will to do the right thing for our community, stop carrying knives and hand any they have over to the police. This is a chance to come clean - but it is only for a limited time.

"Although the knife amnesty will help fight crime in Hull, this amnesty must be backed by tough measures to deter people from carrying knives. The Violent Crime Reduction Bill currently being discussed in Parliament will do just that.

"People in Hull will be staggered to hear that the Liberal Democrats are refusing to back tough new measures within the Bill on carrying imitation firearms and raising the age for the sale of knives."