There have been a number of knife crime incidents in Blackpool over recent weeks that have concerned my constituents, not least a disturbing case in which a man was arrested after carrying a 16-inch machete. What action is being taken by the CPS to reduce knife crime offending both in Blackpool and across Lancashire as a whole?
I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for his interest and knowledge in this area—not least because he seems to be drawn for these questions, week in, week out. Of course the CPS has been instrumental in the pilots of serious violence reduction orders, which are aimed at reducing knife crime, and it is right to say that those orders will provide an extra tool to help to crack down on violent crime. The CPS looks at both breaches of those and the original orders. The law tour next week is visiting the north-west CPS area, which covers both my hon. Friend’s constituency and yours, Mr Speaker, and you would both be more than welcome to join us on that tour to see the CPS and the police working together on this issue.
My constituents and I have been deeply shaken by recent incidents of violent crime in my constituency. Losing a loved one to senseless violence is a tragedy that no one should ever have to endure. Will my hon. and learned Friend meet me to discuss these cases, which have caused concern to my constituents, and how we can better support victims and their families by ensuring that the prosecution of violent crime is a priority?
I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for his hard work on behalf of his constituents. It is right to say that tackling serious violence and improving the support we offer to victims is a priority for this Government. That is shown not least through the Victims and Prisoners Bill and the revised victims code. I would be happy to meet him to discuss that further.
I thank the Solicitor General very much for his responses to those questions. Northern Ireland has seen more than its share of violent crime, but in relation to the knife crime that both questions referred to, Northern Ireland has also seen an increase in the number of knife murders, attempted murders and people carrying knives or other sharp instruments. I know he is a very dutiful Minister, so what opportunity has he had to discuss those matters with the pertinent Minister for Northern Ireland, to ensure that we also see some benefit from those measures?
May I return the hon. Gentleman’s compliment and pay tribute to him for his diligence in this House and for all that he does? In fact, the Attorney General has had very close links with Northern Ireland recently, and both she and I, with the Advocate General for Scotland, had the privilege of being called to the Bar in Northern Ireland. I am determined to keep those conversations and channels open, and the hon. Gentleman will know that the Home Office is consulting now on knife crime, with a closing date of