More jailed for knife offences
More people in the North East were sent to jail for knife and offensive weapons crimes in last year, new figures show.
Ministry of Justice figures show 151 offenders in the Northumbria Police area were given a prison sentence in the year to September – accounting for 33% of knife crime offenders who went through the criminal justice system.
This was up on the figure in 2020-21 (30%), but below the proportion two years prior (36%).
Some 10% of the 463 offenders in Northumbria who went through the criminal justice system were cautioned, 21% were given community sentences and 25% got suspended sentences.
In England and Wales, nearly 19,400 knife and offensive weapon offences were formally dealt with – a decrease of five per cent since the year ending September 2021, despite separate figures showing an 11% increase in knife crime.
Patrick Green, chief executive of anti-knife crime charity The Ben Kinsella Trust, said sanctions imposed by the courts are failing to change the behaviour of habitual offenders, and the courts system needs more investment to keep pace with increasing knife crime figures.
He added: "But we cannot rely solely on the criminal justice system. We must widen our focus to stop knife crime at source by investing more in the services that support and divert young people away from crime."
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “More criminals caught carrying a knife are being sent to jail for longer than they were a decade ago and recent changes to sentencing mean repeat knife offenders are now more likely to face jail.”