Topical Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 13th May 2014.

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Photo of Nick Clegg Nick Clegg The Deputy Prime Minister , Lord President of the Council (Privy Council Office), Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Leader of the Liberal Democrats 11:30 am, 13th May 2014

That was for a different offence, as the hon. Gentleman knows. His proposal would make simply possessing a knife an offence, assuming that the individual already has a knife-related offence against their name. In those circumstances, in which judges would have no discretion whatsoever, the proposal could, in my view, lead unwittingly to precisely the revolving door of higher rates of reoffending that we saw time and again under the Labour Government, when endless populist gimmicks led to higher rates of reoffending. One of the things that I am proud of is that this coalition Government, by avoiding that approach, have seen crime fall to the lowest levels ever recorded.