First, I am sure that Members from across the whole House will want to join me in sending our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of Jodie. I know there is nothing that we can do or say that is going to ease the pain the family are going through at her loss.
We are very clear that judges must have the powers they need to impose tough sentences on those involved in serious violence and knife crime. The law already provides for a mandatory prison sentence for a second offence of carrying a knife, and conviction of a knife or offensive weapon offence is now more likely to result in some form of custodial sentence—and for longer—than at any point in the last 10 years. Obviously, individual sentencing decisions are a matter for the courts, but we are catching and prosecuting more people who carry a knife, and those who are convicted are now more likely to go to prison and for longer. As I set out in Prime Minister’s questions last week, both I and the Home Secretary are working to see what more we can do to deal with the serious violence and knife crime that has beset so many of our communities.