» Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Knife Crime

Put that the Prime Minister had talked about knives in PMQ’s and had signalled an announcement was likely tomorrow, the PMS replied that tomorrow the Prime Minister would be holding a meeting with representatives of ACPO and CPS as well as the Home Secretary, the Justice Secretary and the Attorney General to discuss some of the issues around dealing with knife crime. The Prime Minister said at PMQ’s that in his view, we should extend the presumption to prosecute to 16 year olds; it currently applied to over 18 year olds in hot spot areas and not nationwide.

It was for ACPO and the CPS to operationalise this and this was something we had been discussing with them in recent weeks and we would be discussing it with them further in the meeting tomorrow.

Put that the Government was not talking about changing the law or strengthening it, but more about how the current law operates and how it was interpreted, the PMS said that some of the concerns that had been raised had been in relation to the fact that on some occasions, people charged with knife crime were not subsequently prosecuted.

Put that some people not familiar with the full picture might argue that the Government should just tell ACPO to extend the law nationwide, the PMS reiterated that we could expect some announcements from ACPO in the next couple of days, but it was for them to come up with the operational details.

Asked if people that had not been prosecuted had been let off with a caution instead, the PMS replied that there had been concerns expressed in the past about people being let off with a caution in relation to knife crime. Asked if the PMS had numbers available for how many people had been cautioned, the PMS said he did not have those numbers to hand, but the Home Office might be able to help.

Put that some people had called for a tougher minimum sentence rather than tougher maximum sentences and was something similar to this on the Government’s radar, the PMS said that he thought that might be something being looked at by the Home Office, so people could check the latest with them on that. At the meeting tomorrow we would be discussing the particular issue of presumption to prosecute, but no doubt there would be a wider discussion as well about some of the other things that could be done to tackle the culture of knife crime in the UK.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

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