Mandatory sentences about politics, not safety

Date: 
Monday, 12 May, 2014

Our director Richard Garside was quoted by The Guardian over the weekend, on mandatory sentences for knife carrying.

Richard said that the proposals was about coalition politics in the runup to the 2015 general election, not public safety. Mandatory sentencing he said, does not have any meaningful impact, but it 'works for the Conservatives as it makes them look tough and decisive. It doesn't work on the level of public safety but it works on the level of politics.'

He also said that there were many reasons why people might carry knives:

'They might be motivated by fear, they can be genuinely concerned for their safety. If you really want to stop young people from carrying knives, then maybe you should talk to young people about why they carry them and maybe do something about the society they live in which encourages them to carry them.'