Knife Crime - Home Affairs Committee Contents

5  Legislation, policing and sentencing

89. Having addressed the scale, nature and causes of knife-carrying and violent behaviour in young people, we turn to potential solutions. In this chapter we consider current legislation on knives, police tactics to detect and prevent knife crime and sentencing of knife offenders.


90. Laws governing the sale, carrying, use and production of knives are contained within the Prevention of Crime Act 1953, the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959, the Criminal Justice Act 1988, the Public Order Act 1994, the Offensive Weapons Act 1996, the Knives Act 1997, the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006.[128] It is a criminal offence:

  • To have an article with a blade or point in a public place (the carrying of penknives is generally legal if the blade is under three inches in length);
  • To have an article with a blade or point on school premises;
  • To own a flick knife or a gravity knife;
  • To sell a knife or article with a blade or point to a person under 18;
  • To market a knife in a way which is likely to encourage violent behaviour; and
  • To use another to look after, hide or transport a dangerous weapon (including a knife) to facilitate the weapon being available to him for unlawful purposes.

91. The Police Federation demanded a "single, holistic piece of legislation to cover all aspects of weapon crime (non-firearms)":

    This would bring together clear definitions of what a weapon is and what restrictions there are governing its purchase, manufacture, importation, sale, promotion, carriage, possession and use. It should also cover more recently developed means of advertising, selling and supplying weapons—such as those opportunities provided by the internet and new communications technologies. Anomalies could also be removed, such as the bladed article legislation with its arbitrary 3" provision.[129]

The British Association of Shooting and Conservation also noted that while the legislation "generally includes proper checks and balances to protect the legitimate user and punish offenders", it is "complicated and widely dispersed."[130]

92. However, the Metropolitan Police argued that, as "the most common knife used in knife crime appears to be a domestic knife", which if found on a person in a public place fall within existing legislation, "any additional legislation is unwarranted at this time."[131] According to Deputy Assistant Commissioner Alf Hitchcock:

    There are always opportunities for consideration of legislation, but the legislation has been brought in, in each case, to deal with specific things within a wider violence context, which is why each bit sits within different pieces of legislation. Drawing it altogether into a single new knives act, or whatever you would want to call it, would take time and energy and not necessarily achieve anything new, but what I do think, and one of the things we are going to be doing within the Tackling Knives Action Programme, is clarifying what the existing legislation is in an easy read, easily understandable way is important.[132]

93. The laws regulating the sale, possession and use of different kinds of knives are contained in a number of different pieces of legislation. We note calls from the Police Federation to simplify this legislation; however we consider this would be overly resource-intensive. We understand that the Association of Chief Police Officers is in the process of clarifying the provision of relevant legislation into a definite piece of guidance for use by police officers. We welcome this and urge its speedy publication. Our inquiry did not find any need for further legislation to tackle the sale or use of knives.

Tackling availability

94. The Police Federation argued that confusion over current legislation has contributed to "derisory levels" of enforcement and sanction against knife traders. As we argued in the previous chapter, while tackling the availability of knives is only one small part of preventing knife crime, clamping down on illegal sales may deter those who carry without intention to commit violence and will help to thwart those who seek to carry certain kinds of illegal knives as a status symbol.

95. We received evidence from the Safer Southwark Partnership about their knife charter, which was launched in 2006 as a voluntary agreement between the Council and retailers and sets out tougher requirements around knife sales, including asking prospective knife purchasers who look under 21 for proof of age, displaying knives in secure cabinets and staff training. Between April 2008 and March 2009, the Council completed nearly 100 test purchases and over 90% of retailers refused to sell knives to underage buyers: this was the highest level of test purchasing amongst all London boroughs.[133] In February 2009 the Government announced a new national campaign with retailers to reduce underage sales of knives along similar lines. The Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, David Hanson MP, told us:

    We have 21 retailers, particularly the big retailers, who have signed up to this … I think it sends out the right message in store if it is more difficult for people to access knives. In some cases, it will have been the way in which people have got their hands on to relatively cheap knives. Some retailers have also taken knives off their internet sales because that was a way in which people could have accessed them too.[134]

96. The Minister also told us that the Government is looking at the potential to manufacture a "a knife which does the job but which would be virtually useless if it came to doing damage to a human being."[135] Staffordshire County Council recently published the results of research commissioned from the Cutlery and Allied Trades Research Association, which found that it would be possible to redesign kitchen knives to retain the sharp point needed to preparing food, but reduce the pressure at the point of penetration should the knife be used in a stabbing incident. The re-designed knife has a sharp point of 15 mm in length, after which the blade width increases rapidly. Taking into account the average life of a knife, the report notes that if the Government were to legislate to ban production of long sharp pointed knives, it would be likely to take at least eight years to achieve a significant reduction.[136]

97. There appears to be a need for better enforcement of current legislation regarding the sale of knives. The voluntary charter initiated by the Safer Southwark Partnership with retailers in the London borough appears to have been successful in reducing underage knife sales. We therefore support the Government's similar national campaign with retailers. We also support efforts to design a kitchen knife with a shorter point, although note that it would take a number of years to achieve a big reduction in the number of traditional kitchen knives in circulation unless there was an incentive for people to replace their current knives.

Knife amnesties

98. Knife amnesties are another technique that has been employed to try to reduce the number of knives in circulation. The Home Office organised a five-week national knife amnesty in 2006, during which period 89,864 knives were handed in. The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies have cast doubt on its success in reducing knife-carrying and knife-related offences, noting this figure constitutes less than 1% of the knives that could be used, assuming that every household in England and Wales possesses at least one kitchen knife. The amnesty also appeared to have a limited impact on crime levels. For example, the Metropolitan Police Service did notice a reduction in knife-enabled offences five weeks into their operation, but six weeks after the end of the operation these had returned to pre-operation levels.[137]

99. Amnesties on their own are unlikely to dissuade persistent offenders from carrying knives. Young people canvassed by the children's charity 11 MILLION doubted that their peers who carry knives with the intent of using them would hand in their weapons.[138] Deputy Assistant Commissioner Hitchcock agreed with this assessment but argued that knife amnesties can be used successfully as one of a set of broader initiatives.[139] The Police Federation considered that amnesties "send an important message to the public that carrying weapons is unacceptable in a civilised society and that a positive stand is being taken by the police and local community."[140]

100. Knife amnesties have a limited impact on crime levels and are unlikely to dissuade persistent offenders from carrying knives. We have no objection to their continued use as part of a broader set of initiatives aimed at reducing knife-carrying, but policy-makers should understand their limited value.

Stop and search

101. Section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) allows a constable to stop and search any person or vehicle for prohibited articles if he or she has reasonable grounds for suspecting that he will find prohibited articles. The threshold for reasonable suspicion can be satisfied "without specific information and intelligence and on the basis of some level of generalisation stemming from the behaviour of a person…Where there is reliable information or intelligence that members of a group or gang habitually carry knives unlawfully and wear a distinctive item of clothing or other means of identification to indicate their membership of the group or gang, that distinctive item of clothing or other means of identification may provide reasonable grounds to stop and search a person."[141] Police have additional powers to stop and search without suspicion under:

  • Section 60 of the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994, which permits officers to stop and search individuals for weapons without suspicion following the designation of an area based on reasonable belief that serious violence may take place or that persons are carrying weapons. The authorisation can initially last for a period of up to 24 hours and can be renewed for a further six hours.
  • Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows similar searches to occur following designation of an area when the designation is considered expedient for the prevention of acts of terrorism.

102. Much of the media coverage of the Tackling Knives Action Programme has focused on the increased use of stop and search under Section 60 of the Public Order Act. We received conflicting evidence about its effectiveness as a tactic to reduce knife crime. The joint submission from Race on the Agenda (Building Bridges Project), the Street Weapons Action Team and the Independent Academic Research Studies argued that:

    Home Office research has identified the limited deterrent effect and detection rates of stop and search, and recent statistics published for Operation Blunt, which demonstrate a success rate under 3%, confirm that this remains the case. The use of targeting areas and focusing on hotpots should produce a higher success rate if they were effective, but at present the results do not represent a policy which is combating weapons crime by any significant margin.[142]

103. Provisional Home Office TKAP management information showed that between June 2008 and March 2009, police conducted more than 150,000 stop and searches and seized 3,000 knives—a 2% return.[143] However, the British Transport Police argued that their stop and search operation SHIELD, which has been running since 2006, had resulted in a reduction in knife offences, suggesting a deterrent effect:

    Since 2006 to the present day we have actually seen a 39% reduction in the number of crimes where knives are involved and, at the same time as crime has been reducing, the number of weapons that we have recovered as a result of Operation SHIELD has gone the other way … Recovery of weapons as a result of these tactics continues to increase with a projected 2008-09 performance year increase of 33.1% (1228 incidents).[144]

104. Liberty highlighted comments made by the former head of the Metropolitan Police's Homicide Prevention Unit, Laura Richards, in an interview with the BBC, that appeared to oppose heavy use of stop and search:

    I think a lot more could be done as opposed to just a hard edged enforcement around stop and search…we're seeing a number of guys committing the murders are already marginalized, already excluded and we are trying those kind of tactics on those individuals, I fear we just make the problem worse.[145]

But police witnesses strongly refuted the suggestion that their approach was limited to enforcement, pointing to the community initiatives and partnership working they had put in place.[146]

105. The Metropolitan Police also emphasised their use of intelligence to tackle 'dangerous people' in 'dangerous places' at 'dangerous times'. Commander Simmons told us about Operation Alliance, running since 2007 to target 420 individuals from 22 known street gangs in south London, following which 20% of these offenders were in custody.[147] The Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Chris Huhne MP, argued:

    I do not think there is any mystery about this, that what the Government has been encouraging the police to do is well established in operational policing … What I think is not happening is that we are not rolling out the things that we know are effective everywhere they should be rolled out, and so there is a delivery problem. We know what best practice is. What we are not doing is applying best practice everywhere as quickly as we should.[148]

106. The majority of individuals and organizations we spoke to supported the use of stop and search as a means of keeping their communities safer, but all pointed to the importance of how it was carried out, with several young witnesses relating negative encounters with the police. We heard that forces aim to ensure "community buy-in" for stop and search by using existing frameworks, such as key individual networks made up of local community members who offer independent advice to the police and the citizens panels who work with neighbourhood policing. Crucially, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Hitchcock informed us that throughout this recent period, where Section 60 has been used "probably more widely than ever before", there has been no rise in the number of complaints.[149]

107. Further concerns were raised about the legal basis for stop and search, with Liberty questioning the apparent use of Section 60 searches for "reassurance and deterrence"[150] rather than because specific intelligence suggested the likely presence of knives. We put this to DAC Hitchcock, who responded:

    The requirement to understand the intelligence profile and the requirement to be able to document and articulate why Section 60 is in place is important; I think it is an important safeguard. I believe that by having that it means that Section 60 is used in the right places at the right times, I believe that the current power is appropriate and the way in which we have been using it has been appropriate and as a result of that I think it has worked well.[151]

The British Transport Police explain that they can find alternative means to carry out searches where necessary:

    So there are some circumstances where a section 60 order is not appropriate or justified by the intelligence but, nonetheless, we seek to use a knife arch in the operation … The circumstances that we find ourselves in there is that the current codes indicate that, although a consensual search is allowed, the officers have to formulate reasonable suspicion before they can carry out that search. The practical implications of that are we invite people through the arches and the indication from the arch then begins to form that suspicion with the officer, together with the person's behaviour, demeanour and how they engage with the officer, so that they can make an objective assessment on each case. I guess what we are saying from a practical point of view is that that is a requirement that we have to place on the individual officer and has, therefore, led to us introducing additional training.[152]

108. Stop and search operations are a key component of the Tackling Knives Action Programme. In London they have yielded only a 2% return in knives seized. However, the extent of any deterrent effect is unclear. Moreover, the British Transport Police claimed that their stop and search operation, SHIELD, has contributed to a 39% reduction in the number of crimes where knives are involved since its introduction in 2006. We heard conflicting views from communities affected by knife crime about the impact of stop and search: some pointed to the potential damage to police/community relations; others considered it an important measure to keep their children safe. Police representatives emphasised that their approach combined enforcement with prevention. We concluded that stop and search is an important short-term measure to tackle knife offences, with the caveat that it is carried out in an appropriate and sensitive manner.

Convictions and sentences

Sentencing legislation and guidelines

109. Under existing law, those convicted of knife possession in a public place can be sentenced to up to four years' imprisonment. Discretion is built into the sentencing process so that the starting point for those convicted of possession but who did not use or threaten use differs to those who, for example, threatened use. Certain other factors can "aggravate" the offence of knife possession, such as possession near a school or hospital, the offender operating in a group or gang, or possession of a particularly dangerous weapon.[153] Those convicted of using knives to hurt others can obviously receive much longer sentences.

110. The Sentencing Guidelines Council published advice for magistrates in June 2008, which were due to come into force in August 2008, stating that punishment for knife possession could begin at a Band C fine (ranging from 125 to 175% of the offender's weekly income.) The then Home Office Minister of State and the Head of the Tackling Knives Action Programme criticised the leniency of this, as did we in our Report on Policing in the 21st Century.[154] But the following month the Court of Appeal recommended in its Povey ruling that for knife-related offences committed by adult offenders, the sentencing guideline should be applied at the most severe end of the appropriate sentencing range. The Sentencing Guidelines Council subsequently advised that offences at:

  • Level 1 (knife possession for a first time adult offender where the knife is not used to threaten or cause fear) would attract a sentencing starting point of 12 weeks' custody;
  • Level 2 (possession in a "dangerous circumstance" but where a knife is not used to cause or threaten fear) would attract a custodial sentence in excess of six months; and
  • Level 3 (where a weapon is used in dangerous circumstances to threaten or cause fear) would attract a custodial sentence in excess of six months.[155]

A circumstance is likely to be 'dangerous' if there is a real possibility that the knife could be used.

111. For young offenders, the situation is more complicated and depends on a number of circumstances: under international obligations, custody must be awarded as a 'last resort' and the Government's Youth Crime Action Plan emphasises "the key principle of sentencing that a young person should not be sent to custody unless the court is able to specify why dealing with him or her within the community is not appropriate." The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 has created a new single community sentence, known as the youth rehabilitation order.

112. The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 increased the maximum sentence for knife possession to four years. In our Report on Policing in the 21st Century, we expressed concern that advice published by the Sentencing Guidelines Council in June 2008 that punishment for knife possession could begin at a Band C fine was too lenient. We are therefore pleased that new guidance sets a starting sentence point of a 12-week custodial sentence.


113. Mrs Oakes-Odger has campaigned since her son's murder for more severe penalties for knife-carrying. She told us she was pleased that the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 has increased the maximum penalty for knife possession from two years to four years: "I feel that at that level that is a reasonable penalty and brings it reasonably in line with gun crime."[156] Some witnesses argued that this maximum penalty should be mandatory for all caught in possession of a knife. Mr Levy, the father of stab victim Robert Levy, said:

    It is nice to have increased the maximum period of sentence for the possession of a knife in a public place to four years, but in order for that to have the desired effect, it should not be around a maximum sentence, it should be around a mandatory sentence, because up and down the country use of the maximum sentence has always been there, it has been there for some time, and it has rarely ever been used. What has come across from a lot of young people is that, if they find that there is a maximum sentence or a mandatory sentence, they know that they are going to be put away for four years. That does send a strong message for them.[157]

114. However, other witnesses, while they favoured tough action for the majority, opposed mandatory sentences. [158] Deputy Assistant Commissioner Hitchcock explained why he felt an element of discretion is desirable:

    I feel there is a difference, for example, between the mandatory sentence for gun crime, where someone has to be within certain criminal networks and has to procure the weapon … and knife crime where you are talking about a weapon that is easily accessible … and the circumstances in which a young person might come to have a knife in their possession can be quite varied. For example, you might have a 16 year old who is a recidivist offender, who is going out and committing robberies, who is going out and threatening other people, who is within a gang environment … but at the other end of the spectrum you might have a 12/13 year old who has been having a bit of a hard time at school, a bit of bullying and then stupidly puts the knife in their bag on one occasion and gets caught. If you have got a mandatory sentence then that person who is the recidivist, unpleasant, nasty offender is going to get the same sentence as the young person who has done something really stupid and should have a more appropriate sanction.[159]

We were particularly concerned about the potential award of a mandatory custodial sentence to an individual who has been coerced into carrying a weapon for an older person.


115. Witnesses also raised the application of sentencing guidelines by magistrates and judges. Mrs Oakes-Odger said she had a "very real concern" that the maximum penalties were not being applied. Despite rising sharply since 1996, when only 6% of those prosecuted for carrying a knife were sent to prison, by 2006 the figure was still only one in six.[160] Prior to June 2008, outside high knife-crime areas police were tending to issue a caution to under-18s who were caught with a knife for a first time. Since that date, the presumption is that anyone caught carrying an illegal knife will face criminal charges.[161] Deputy Assistant Commissioner Alf Hitchcock told us that, prior to the Tackling Knives Action Programme, charging standards were "quite variable" across the country but now with the national charging standard "there is now a presumption that people will be charged, which is happening": 90% of people within the Tackling Knives Action Programme areas are being charged.[162] Assistant Chief Constable John Crowther agreed that "a significantly higher number of people are arrested and charged now than prior to those policies being in place."[163]

116. In March 2009 the Justice Secretary, Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, announced an increase of 23% in the number of immediate custodial sentences handed down for offences involving possession of a knife or other offensive weapon during 2008. Statistics showed:

  • The number of offences resulting in immediate custody rose from 1,125 in the last quarter of 2007 to 1,386 in the same period of 2008. On average there was a 40% increase in the number of prisoners serving a sentence for possession of an offensive weapon between the same periods.
  • Fewer cautions were issued: the number fell 31% over the same period (1,706 in the last quarter of 2008 compared to 2,455 in the same period of 2007).
  • More use of community sentences: the number of offences resulting in community sentences rose 16% (from 1,861 in the last quarter of 2007 to 2,151 in the same period of 2007).
  • Longer sentences: the average immediate custodial sentence rose by 38% (from 133 days in the last quarter of 2007 to 184 days in the same period of 2008).
  • The proportion of all possession offences resulting in immediate custody rose to 21% in the last quarter of 2008 from 17% in the same period of 2007. The proportion of offences resulting in a caution decreased from 36% in the last quarter of 2007 to 25% in the last quarter of 2008.[164]

117. While we consider that magistrates should be allowed a degree of discretion when sentencing those convicted of knife possession, and therefore oppose a mandatory sentence, we favour a more consistent approach to sentencing and custody for the majority of offenders. We are therefore pleased to note that there is now a presumption across England and Wales that knife-carriers will be charged, and that the number of offences resulting in custody rose during 2008.


118. We wanted to know whether the prospect of receiving a custodial sentence was likely to deter young people from carrying knives. According to Frances Done of the Youth Justice Board:

    There is not very good evidence that says absolutely yes … We did a survey of young people involved in street crime where we asked them about the things that had the most impact on them, and custody did come high up the list, but the difficulty with that is that it is very clear from the rest of the survey that once a young person has been in custody (and obviously we are talking in terms of young people carrying knives, quite a lot of them will have been in custody already) the fear of custody was gone.[165]

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies' 2006 literature review of existing research on knife crime cited the 2001 Halliday Review which stated there was "no evidence to show what levels of punishment produce what levels of general deterrence."[166]

119. Some young people we spoke to argued that prison does not act as a deterrent because young people do not think about the consequences of their actions:

    When you are in that experience, when my friend got stabbed when I was with him on the bus, the other gang came on the bus, we had a ruck, he got stabbed, we did not realise and then afterwards because he had been stabbed everyone was like, "We have got to get them." It does not go through your mind at all about prison or whatever; it does not exist. [167]

This was emphasised by Frances Crook, of the Howard League for Penal Reform, in her foreword to Why Carry a Weapon?:

    Children are by definition, immature. Those children who are likely to commit crimes are, arguably, the most immature of all. The consequences of their actions will almost certainly be far from their thoughts, and they may well fear the immediate threat of violence and ridicule among their peers more than the distant threat of court sentencing and custody.[168]

120. A custodial sentence is particularly ineffective as a deterrent if you do not believe that you are likely to be awarded one. One witness told us:

    I would be more worried about the bag of gear I have got in my pocket, not the knife. I would be worried about going to jail for that. A knife would not cross my mind until after the event. If people are going to get tougher sentences there needs to be really good education.[169]

Some of the focus group participants informing Why Carry a Weapon? were fairly knowledgeable about the range of penalties they could face if caught carrying a knife but nearly all thought that the law was there "to scare them" and that rather than being given a prison sentence they were more likely to be tagged: this was based on their age, the fact they knew the prisons were full up, and knowledge of older teenagers who had been caught and had not served the minimum sentence.[170] Mr Levy noted that the brevity of the sentences often awarded has a negative influence:

    What comes across is that when young people see their friends being sentenced for possession of a knife and within a very short period of time they are back in the community, that has the opposite effect of being a deterrent. It then becomes a badge of honour where they can say, "I have been inside for this and here I am again", and it does nothing to boost the confidence of the young people within the community who are trying to stay away from it.[171]

121. We heard that some young people even considered the prospect of prison to be preferable to the potential alternative. One interviewee for Why Carry a Weapon? argued "He wouldn't be thinking about six years, he's probably be thinking he's going to be six foot deep if he don't carry one."[172] A similar view was expressed by the school children we met with from Paddington, London.

122. Evidence suggests that the fear of getting caught acts as a stronger deterrent. The Halliday Study went on to state "the importance of certainty of punishment … it is the prospect of getting caught that has deterrence value, rather than alterations to the 'going rate' for severity of sentences".[173] This point was put to us by Chris Huhne MP and David Hanson MP and also Frances Done, who said:

    I think the other information we have which the MORI surveys show us very powerfully is that the thing that has most impact on young people in terms of stopping them committing offending is being caught, which is about twice as important as the punishment, and there is a whole list of things like parents' feelings, and so on. So actually being caught is a really important issue.[174]

123. While it may be an appropriate punishment for knife-carriers, evidence suggests that the prospect of a custodial sentence may not deter young people from carrying knives. Many young people do not think about the consequences of their actions, and for a small minority who feel at risk of violence, the prospect of jail seems preferable to the dangers of being caught without a weapon for protection. Evidence suggests that the fear of getting caught acts as a stronger deterrent for young people. This strengthens our support for strong police action against knives, including the use of stop and search.

128   Chris Eades, Roger Grimshaw, Arianna Silvestri, Enver Solomon, Knife crime: a review of evidence and policy, 2nd edition (London: Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, 2007), p 7 Back

129   Ev 111-2 Back

130   Ev 118 Back

131   Ev 131 Back

132   Q 130 Back

133   Ev 183 Back

134   Q 581 Back

135   Ibid Back

136   Staffordshire County Council, Getting to the Point: Preventing Knife Crime, April 2009, pp 14-15 Back

137   Chris Eades, Roger Grimshaw, Arianna Silvestri, Enver Solomon, Knife crime: a review of evidence and policy, 2nd edition (London: Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, 2007), p 27 Back

138   Ev 149 Back

139   Q 103 Back

140   Ev 112 Back

141   Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Code A, 2.4 and 2.6 Back

142   Ev 108 Back

143   "Clamping down on serious youth violence", Home Office press release, 11 March 2009 Back

144   Q 151; Ev 113 Back

145   Ev 127  Back

146   Ev 130-1 [Metropolitan Police]  Back

147   Annex A [London seminar notes] Back

148   Q 525 Back

149   Q 104 Back

150   Ev 126-7 Back

151   Q 113 Back

152   Q 152 Back

153   Ev 128 [Liberty] Back

154   Q 89; Home Affairs Committee, Seventh Report of Session 2007-08, Policing in the 21st Century, HC 364, paras 153, 166 Back

155   Sentencing Guidelines available at: Back

156   Q 222 Back

157   Q 231 Back

158   Qq 176 [Frances Done], 299 [Frances Crook]  Back

159   Q 88 Back

160   Home Office data, cited in "Convicted knife carriers given warning of tougher sentences", Police Review, 29 August 2008, p 35 Back

161   "Tough new sanctions to tackle knife crime", Home Office press release, 5 June 2008 Back

162   Q 116 Back

163   Q 157 Back

164   "Straw: more jailed for knife crime", Ministry of Justice press release, 12 March 2009 Back

165   Q 183 Back

166   Chris Eades, Roger Grimshaw, Arianna Silvestri, Enver Solomon, Knife crime: a review of evidence and policy, 2nd edition (London: Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, 2007), p 29 Back

167   Q 290 [Witness 4, The Prince's Trust] Back

168   Nicola Marfleet, Why Carry a Weapon? A Study of Knife Crime Amongst 15-17-Year Old Males in London (London: Howard League for Penal Reform, 2008), p 15 Back

169   Q 290 Back

170   Nicola Marfleet, Why Carry a Weapon? A Study of Knife Crime Amongst 15-17-Year Old Males in London (London: Howard League for Penal Reform, 2008), p 69 Back

171   Q 231 Back

172   Nicola Marfleet, Why Carry a Weapon? A Study of Knife Crime Amongst 15-17-Year Old Males in London (London: Howard League for Penal Reform, 2008), p 78 Back

173   Chris Eades, Roger Grimshaw, Arianna Silvestri, Enver Solomon, Knife crime: a review of evidence and policy, 2nd edition (London: Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, 2007), p 29 Back

174   Q 183; Q 524; Q 576 Back

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