Courts must back police on knives

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Letters And Opinion -

On the face of it, the rise in knife crime on our streets seems a wor­ry­ing trend. And im­ages of seized blades tweeted by officers with the com­ment “tak­ing knives off the street on ev­ery shift” do lit­tle to dis­pel the fear.

After all, knives seem to be the weapon of choice these days for those who might want to cause harm.

And they are in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to drug gangs, which is an­other on­go­ing chal­lenge for police.

But the fact that our lo­cal officers are so-proac­tive in try­ing to keep our streets safe in some way ac­counts for the ex­tra of­fences be­ing recorded.

It is re­as­sur­ing to know that our police teams op­er­ate such an ac­tive, ro­bust, zero tol­er­ance ap­proach to the car­ry­ing of knives and the drug deal­ing cul­ture that of­ten goes with it.

And at a time of stretched re­sources, it clearly re­mains a pri­or­ity.

But more of an is­sue is the sen­tenc­ing of of­fend­ers for the car­ry­ing of knives, which one se­cu­rity boss at the sharp end of pub­lic protection in the night-time econ­omy has been quick to crit­i­cise.

Oli No­nis, of Akon Se­cu­rity, is dis­mayed there is lit­tle ev­i­dence of the strict new tougher penal­ties, in­clud­ing in­stant jail terms for of­fend­ers.

Like him, we be­lieve the courts need to take a ro­bust ap­proach and send out a mes­sage that it will not be tol­er­ated.

‘It is re­as­sur­ing to know that our police teams op­er­ate such a ro­bust, zero tol­er­ance ap­proach’

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