Last week we learnt that knife crime has replaced terrorism as the number one concern of the Metropolitan Police.
In an interview with The Sun – trailed on its front page – David Cameron also promises a get tough approach to knives:
- “The Government should say not just there is a presumption you will be prosecuted if you carry a knife, but that there will be a presumption you will go to jail. It is not a minor offence. There is no excuse for carrying a knife when you walk out of your door.”
- Within a new ‘Knife Action Plan’ he also mentions his action against family breakdown, against school indiscipline and also for a National Citizen Service scheme.
- The Sun’s George Pascoe Watson also highlights the Tory promise to reform stop and search: "Mr Cameron also says cops are too scared to tackle yobs on streets because their hands are tied by rules from the 1980s set up to avoid racism allegations. He vows to tear up stop and search forms which PCs must fill in — and dismisses campaigners who say they are needed to stop blacks being harassed."
Within the interview he also highlights the responsibility of the state to punish offenders properly if we are to avoid a vigilante society (our emphasis):
“We give up our rights to take vengeance when we are wronged and place that duty with the state. We bloody well want the state to do it properly.”
The Sun Says welcomes the comprehensive nature of the Tory response:
"David Cameron is right to say knives should mean jail. And Gordon Brown should act today to match this pledge. Never mind bleating that there’s no space in our jails. Parents want an end to this orgy of killing NOW.
The Tory leader’s Knife Crime Action plan points out that punishment is not the only answer. Families need help to stay together so kids have parents. Schools must be allowed to discipline pupils and boot out yobs. And the police must be cut free from strangling red tape."
> Melanie Phillips has an excellent article in the Daily Mail arguing that we won’t beat knife crime if we throw away the approaches of social entrepreneurs like Ray Lewis.
> Listen to Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve discuss knife crime on last night’s Westminster Hour on Radio 4.
> A debate on knife crime led by Alex Deane from end-May.
11am: Over at CentreRight, Andrew Lilico asks if there is an urban/ rural divide on carrying knives