Threatening to use a knife regardless of where the crime takes place should result in prosecution, an MP warns.
Shipley MP Philip Davies said current provision is not acceptable and he will be tabling amendments to the Offensive Weapons Bill to extend the locations covered in law.
He said: “I cannot for the life of me see why someone who threatens somebody with a knife should not be prosecuted for this offence, regardless of where the offence takes place. Currently, it has to be in a public place or on school premises, and the Bill will extend that to further education premises. But why should it not apply to all premises? Why is threatening somebody with a knife an offence only if it is in a public place, school premises or a further education establishment? Threatening somebody with a knife should be an offence wherever it happens—surely that is common sense—but the law is not being extended in that way.”
Mr Davies said more needed to be done to tackle the rise in knife crime and tougher sentencing may act as a deterrent. He told MPs 60 per cent of people charged with possession of a knife escaped prison and 38 per cent of people who threatened someone with a knife were also let off.
He added: “In 2016, somebody with 14 previous knife offences was still not sent to prison for committing a further knife offence.”
Speaking in Parliament he urged Government to include serious offences with knives and offensive weapons within the unduly lenient sentence scheme, which allows for a sentence handed down by the courts to be challenged if it is felt too lenient.
In addition he called for anyone with a conviction to be given a mandatory sentence for committing a subsequent similar offence and for a sentence escalator to be introduced which would see the length of sentence increase each time a further similar offence was committed.
He said: “There is clearly a problem with violent crime, knife crime and the horrific acid attacks that we have all heard about. There are many things that I would like to see us do to curb those terrible crimes. The shadow Minister knows that I totally agree with her about police numbers. That would be a good place to start. We could also stop releasing prisoners automatically halfway through their sentences, and then giving them scandalous 28-day fixed-term recalls when they reoffend. We could stop faffing around and interfering with the police on stop and search and let the police get on with their job. We could also ensure that much tougher sentences are handed down by our courts in the first place to persistent and serious offenders.”
Mr Davies also expressed concerns banning knifes being delivered directly to properties and having to be collected from a shop could result in innocent people being found in possession. It may also be used as an excuse by someone caught in possession of a blade who intends to use it, as they can claim they have a legal defence for carrying it, he said.