Knife Crime

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:44 am on 7th March 2019.

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Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women 10:44 am, 7th March 2019

I thank my right hon. Friend for his kind words, and I am reminded of the many comments made about him in celebration of his recent knighthood. He makes an important point about sentencing. Of course, it is the judiciary who decide the sentences they impose on defendants as they appear before them in court, but we really must emphasise the importance of the public message on this for local communities living in the sorts of circumstances outlined by the shadow Home Secretary, where people fear for their sons and daughters. That is why we have introduced mandatory minimum sentences for those caught in possession of a knife on more than one occasion. We have asked judges to apply a minimum of six months’ imprisonment to such people to send out that very clear message that holding a knife is not acceptable, is not normal, and if you hold a knife in a public place not only do you put other people at risk, you put yourself at risk as well.