Government Attempt To Blunt Knife Crime

A story published for a 3rd year Uni assessment on Tside highlighting the dangers and to raise awareness of knife crime.

The government is being urged to more to educate youngsters on the dangers of knives.

During their campaign for election the Conservative party had lobbied for news laws meaning that anyone found guilty of knife crime would face jail time. But in recent months it has appeared the pledge had fallen to one side.

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke had initially said that all knife crimes would warrant a minimum jail term, however he has now said that any jail term would be decided by the presiding judge.

Chris Cave from Redcar was 17 when he was stabbed to death in 2003 and his mother has been campaigning for stricter laws ever since. When asked about the first U-turn Mrs Cave said:
“This is going to have the country in uproar,”

“Handing out cautions is not a deterrent. Anyone going out with a knife is going to use it, or it could end up being used on them.”

Ex-Eastenders star Brooke Kinsella has also urged David Cameron and his government to rethink their stance on punishments for violent crime. The actress who’s brother was stabbed to death in 2008 has been urging the government to educate youngsters. She said:

“We need knife-crime education in secondary schools as part of the curriculum and early intervention must be introduced in primary schools.”

Home Secretary Theresa May has vowed to allocate funding of up to £18 million to create a new website which will make young people aware of the dangers and consequences of knife crime adding:

“Off the back of Brooke’s recomendations we will invest money into changing attitudes and behaviours, alongside being tough on those who persist in being involved in senseless crime.”

Middlesbrough Councillor Joan McTigue described the governments knife education plans as a step forward but is unhappy with Mr Clarke’s U-turn describing it as “an even bigger stride back”.

The latest national statistics show that crime involving knives is down on last year by 6% but the number of fatal stabbings remained the same in 2009 and 2010.

In Teesside however crime figures fell by almost 16%, the sharpest drop in the country Chief Constable of Cleveland Police Sean Price said:

“The Home Office figures released today confirm our standing nationally, and we are particularly delighted to have achieved such significant reductions in our priority areas of robbery, violence and house burglary.”

Police Officials have put the drop down to putting officers and resources where the people of Teesside want them, leading to a strong community spirit and relationships with the police force.