Parents of children killed or seriously injured by knife attacks are joining forces with the Victims of Crime Trust to try to change knife laws in the
UK. They wish the sentence for carrying a knife with a blade longer than three inches to be increased to a minimum term of five years in jail.
Carrying a knife with a blade three inches or less is currently legal. The campaigners wish a change to the law which will see a six month sentence
imposed on those caught with such a knife. Home Secretary David Blunkett has already been considering increasing the legal age to buy knives to
eighteen years old.
The families of stabbing victims are calling for a five-year minimum sentence for carrying a knife.
The petition, backed by the parents of Luke Walmsley and Damilola Taylor, was handed to 10 Downing Street on Monday.
The Knives Destroy Lives campaign is calling for a five-year minimum jail term for carrying a blade longer than three inches.
It wants a six-month minimum jail term for carrying a blade shorter than three inches, or three months in the case of juveniles.
Jayne Walmsley, whose son died last November, said the government had been too slow to tackle knife crime.
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Knife crime within the UK increased by 4% this year. A child is killed by a knife attack or by the injuries sustained every two weeks. That in my
opinion is shocking.
As well as the child deaths, Scotland Yard is worried about the proliferation of knives, it is becoming one of the major fears of police officers.
This attempt at changing the law could meet some resistance from those who carry Swiss Army knives and other utility knives. But in reality, while
these knives can be useful in some circumstances, most people do not really
need to carry such items. While some may say people such as
fishermen and farmers may need to carry some types of knives, I do not feel they would be affected. The law would likely only concern those carrying
a knife in public places such as towns or nightclubs where no real reason could be given for being in possession.
Chairman of the home affairs select committee is wary of endorsing a mandatory sentence. He is however in support of restricting freedom of offenders
by electronic tagging and curfews.
At the moment I am unsure of whether I support the stricter laws, but am leaning towards agreeing. After all, what real reason does someone have for
carrying a knife if it is not meant as an offensive weapon?
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