Wednesday, 17 June 2009

No Fear .. No Change

Can’t say I disagree with the proposed increased in sentencing for those committing Murder with a knife. 30 years tariff up from 15 is more like it, but is it likely to bring about a reduction in knife murders? I doubt it. What makes some people pick up a knife and walk out the door? I can understand the fear element in some youngsters, who feel the streets are not safe, I’ve posted about it previously but it’s not just about educating them through knife campaigns.

There needs to be more fear about being caught with a knife. I know of one individual who ran from police and dumped a nasty knife under a car but was still captured and convicted. He was an adult with some previous for violence but he didn’t get jail time. This was just before the so called knife crackdown. Within 6 months he’d gone out with a knife again, got into an argument with a stranger over something ridiculous and stabbed him dead.

I knew the killer reasonably well and I think I might have signed his passport photo a few years back, if I didn’t he at least asked me to. Not a really horrible bloke and we got on fine, he’d been stabbed himself in his mid teens. I’d heard rumours on the street that he’d had a run in with a baby gangster and that’s why he might have been carrying. If he hadn’t got banged up he might have been killed himself. The end result is one innocent dead and he himself now paying the price.

I may be wrong but I’m not seeing much evidence of strong sentencing for possessing knives. Say the killer mentioned got 12 months for possessing the knife in the first instance, he would have still been out in plenty of time to commit the murder. Would the knowledge that being stopped again carrying resulting in a longer sentence, have prevented him picking up the knife? Only he knows the answer to that, but getting a walk out originally didn’t help him much in the long run. Incidentally the baby gangster he was possibly in fear of is also now dead. It’s getting rather rough out there.

6 comments:

Dandelion said...

V.interesting post. I think I agree with you.

I think also part of the problem is that the police prefer to tackle the easy targets - ie the ones that have a knife because they're genuinely scared, not because they're aggressive and violent. Those are the ones the police need to be going for. And for people caught with a knife who already have form for violent offences, the sentences should be greater.

Alternatively, we could just kill them all, that'd stop 'em from carrying knives, eh? Teach 'em a lesson they won't forget in a hurry :-)

Anonymous said...

Higher tariffs for knife murders another Labour gimick pandering to public opinon. Its not well thought out as there are no spaces in prison for them as all the people caught with a knife have taken up the new extra space in the prison system to prevent the early releases from re offending! I'll believe it when it actually happens like the rest of the government pledges.

MPS Probbie said...

Dandelion - if someone is 'genuinely scared' and carrying the knife, I'd be more worried about them pulling it and using it out of panic than I would a cocky bully.

If we put aside their (oft-understandable) fear of violence, we often find that they've put themselves in that position by hanging out with fellow criminal idiots at silly o'clock in the morning.

Knives are next to useless as defensive weapons, so 'I woz scared, innit' isn't really an excuse for carrying them or using them.

The problem doesn't need higher tariffs, it needs judges to enforce those we already have, YOT's to stop wringing their hands and getting young thugs off at court, and the government to build more prisons.

Dandelion said...

Good point, Probbie.

If they were that scared, why not wear a stab-proof vest?

I would love to see a news reporter make this point next time someone tries to justify their knife on fear.

Stressed Out Cop said...

Dandelion

Alot of the time they are killing each other .. so I question if soft sentencing is actually doing the offender any good in the long run.

Anon - That's my point I don't think they are taking up any spaces. I haven't seen it.

MPS Probie - It's like the Croc Dundee thing isn't it - alot of time you still need intent hence points/blades unless a per se off weapon. Now get out there and dish some tickets out .. Welcome BTW

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