Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:13 am on 25th June 2020.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:13 am, 25th June 2020

I thank the hon. Lady for giving me notice of her question, which allows me to give, I hope, a better answer. I join her in sending condolences to the family.

Knife crime is a terrible evil that Members on both sides of the House are committed to eradicating. I hope I can assure the hon. Lady that tackling knife crime is one of the Government’s absolute priorities. The Government are supporting the police to tackle these crimes: the amount of funding available to the policing system for 2020-21 will increase by more than £1.1 billion, totalling £15.2 billion, and we have committed to recruit 20,000 new police officers over the next three years. Furthermore, we are introducing a new court order to give the police new stop-and-search powers in respect of anybody serving all or part of their sentence for a knife-possession offence in the community. That will increase the likelihood of such offenders being stopped and send a strong message that if they persist in carrying a knife, they will be punished and will face a custodial sentence.

I fear that what we say about what we will do in future is of remarkably little comfort to the families who are bereaved, but perhaps there is some comfort in how seriously the issue is taken and in the fact that what they have suffered will be a spur for action, not just from the Government but from the Opposition and from all across the House, to try to tackle this terrible scourge.