Knife Crime: Prosecution

Attorney General – in the House of Commons on 31st January 2019.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

What recent discussions he has had with the CPS on improving prosecution rates for knife crime.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

I engage regularly with the CPS, and we recognise that this issue is a growing national priority. Prosecution rates have been rising year on year for knife crime. Between 2013-14 and 2017-18, there has been a 33% increase. The Offensive Weapons Bill now making its way through this House will tighten the law around the sale, delivery and possession of knives.

Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

I congratulate my hon. and learned Friend on not only talking to the CPS about changing the sentences on knife crime but actually taking action and going to the Court of Appeal to make sure that an unduly lenient sentence has been lengthened to three and a half years’ imprisonment, quite rightly. What action can he take to make sure that the courts understand their duty to imprison people who are guilty of knife crime?

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

My hon. Friend raises a serious London case, and as a London MP, he is a passionate campaigner against knife crime. I warmly welcome the decision of the Court of Appeal yesterday to increase the sentence in that case. Lord Justice Leveson, the president of the Queen’s bench division, was clear in his approach, stating:

“There can never be any excuse for carrying a weapon of the type this offender carried” and that the courts must impose “substantial and effective” sentences on those convicted.