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Knives: Crime

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 15407, tabled on 14 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of longer sentences on deterring people from carrying knives without good reason.

Answered on

22 June 2021

We understand the devastating impact knife crime has on victims and their families and are determined to do all we can to break the deadly cycle of violence that devastates the lives of individuals, families and communities. We are taking significant action to both prevent and respond to crimes involving weapons through the Serious Violence Strategy, the introduction of Knife Crime Prevention Orders, the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers, and increasing stop and search powers.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, currently before Parliament, introduces Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs). These will give the police powers to make it easier to stop and search those already convicted of knife and offensive weapon offences. A person who is subject to an order will know that if they persist in carrying a weapon, there is a greater chance they will be searched, detected and arrested.

In respect of sentencing, deterrence is one of the purposes, but there are other important aims. These include public protection and a strong punitive element, to help make our streets and communities safer and to give victims confidence that justice has been served.