Examination of Witnesses
Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders bill
Vicki Helyar-Cardwell: We do not think mandatory minimum sentences are the most effective response to knife crime. We obviously wish to see more resources put into preventive services. The Sentencing Council is doing some really useful and important work in clarifying and providing consistency around sentencing, and we would not want to see anything that works against that important work. There seems to be very little evidence about the deterrent impact of mandatory minimum sentences, so we are not in favour. Obviously, that is not to say that knife crime is not an important issue; we just do not think this is the most effective response.