Tough new knife sentences welcomed by campaigns group

Left to right, Kerry Louise Kennedy, Deka Kennedy, Mark Wood, Irene Slater, Cathy Fenwick, Pat McDougall, and Maureen Baker
Left to right, Kerry Louise Kennedy, Deka Kennedy, Mark Wood, Irene Slater, Cathy Fenwick, Pat McDougall, and Maureen Baker

Tougher sentences for people caught carrying knives have been welcomed by a campaigns group in South Tyneside.

From July 17, a new “two-strikes” sentence will come into force, meaning adults convicted more than once of being in possession of a blade face a minimum one-month prison sentence, and a maximum of four years.

Glen Corner.

Glen Corner.

Young offenders aged 16 and 17 will face a minimum four-month detention and training order.

The news announced by Justice Minister Mike Penning has been welcomed cautiously by Mark Wood of the Glen Corner Trust.

The Trust was set following the murder of Glen Corner, who was stabbed to death on his 16th birthday in August 2006 in Harton, South Shields, to provide support to families affected by knife crime.

Mr Wood, said: “Any news sentences will become tougher for those carrying a bladed article has to be welcomed. But I personally don’t think they are tough enough. Unless you are a tradesman carrying out a job, there is no reason why anyone should be carrying a knife. People should know carrying a knife is not only wrong, but dangerous.”

People should know carrying a knife is not only wrong but dangerous

Mark Wood

Last year, 1,300 people received a non-custodial sentence or caution for a repeat offence of knife possession.

Under the new rules, they would all have faced a prison sentence.

Criminal Justice Minister Mike Penning, said: “We are already making sure knife offenders are properly punished and keeping more off the streets for longer.

“With this new measure we are saying that, repeatedly take a knife onto our streets and expect to go to prison.”