Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Knife Crime - Get It Off Our Streets!

Knife crime is very much in the news these days. Too many of our young people are being injured, or are dieing, as a result of stabbings and that is because too many of our young people carry knives in the first place!

It appears to have become socially acceptable to teenagers to carry weapons and to wield them with bravado, and yet they join the rest of society in our revulsion whenever one of their friends or family are the victim of knife crime.

Scottish and British society sit today at a crossroads. We either take action to tackle issues like knife crime or we accept them as part of modern day society and allow our way of life to continue to corrode.

I believe this is yet another issue where the answer lies in our approach to policing of our communities. Police Officers serve two purposes - firstly they are there to detect crime and secondly, and possibly most importantly, they are there to deter crime!
It is time to support a national campaign to rid knife crime from our streets! Police Forces across the UK must participate in a national 'stop and search' campaign designed to demonstrate our determination to get knives off our streets and to ensure our young people feel safe in our communities without the need to carry weapons. Once young people know that if they carry a knife there is a definite chance they will be caught in possession of it we have deterrence, and once we have police on our streets for this purpose we will start to catch those carrying and using knives providing us with detection.

In addition to this measure I would give our courts new powers that ensure those committing knife crime are automatically jailed, and for longer terms than at present. Those in possession of knives should also face custodial sentences where there is no good reason to be in possession of an an item that can be used with potentially lethal consequences.

It is time to take action to protect, to detect and to deter. The safety of everyone in our society is an essential element of ensuring better communities and our Police and Courts both have major parts to play in restoring our faith in society!

No comments: