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

We looked at this issue in detail in the preparation of the Offensive Weapons Bill and we have maintained the mandatory minimum sentence of six months. There are colleagues across the House who do not agree with that approach, but we think it is absolutely right to send out the clear public message that carrying a knife more than once will get you into very serious trouble. I should say that on the first occasion when someone is found carrying a knife it is of course open to judges to imprison them if that is appropriate. Through the Bill, we also wanted to make sure that the law on corrosive substances mirrors that on knives, so that we do not have gangs swapping knives for corrosive substances—we know they have done that in some circumstances—because the law simply is not up to date on that.