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Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 7th July 2010.

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 11:30 am, 7th July 2010

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to raise that case, about which everyone will have read. It is absolutely horrific, and it seemed so planned and premeditated. It is appalling to think that things like this happen on our streets. What will we do about it? I think that we need short-term measures, and then much longer-term measures as well.

In terms of the sentencing review, it is clear to me that we need to send the strongest possible signal that carrying a knife on our streets is just unacceptable. We need to send the signal that it is not a defensive measure, that it is not a cool thing to do, that it should not happen, and that the punishment will be tough. That, in my view, is the short-term measure that we need. As for the longer-term measures, we must do more to strengthen communities, to strengthen families, and to give people an alternative to the gangs towards which they will otherwise be drawn. Too many young people join a gang because they do not have other networks, help, respect and hope in their lives. That is a long-term agenda, it is an agenda that I know is shared on both sides of the House, and we must pursue it.

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