More than a third of repeat knife offenders are avoiding prison due to courts ‘increasing tolerance’
- Read more: Knife crime surges by a shocking 16% in London in the past year
More than a third of repeat knife offenders are escaping jail due to an ‘increasing tolerance’ in courts, new figures from the Ministry of Justice display.
From January until March 2023, 37 per cent avoided prison which is the highest proportion since a law was introduced in 2015 stating that a court must jail any repeat offender convicted of a second knife offence.
This has risen from 27.8 per cent in 2019 and comes after figures revealed that knife possession offences hit a record high in September 2022, according to the Telegraph.
Rory Geoghegan, a former Downing Street adviser on crime, said: ‘Those who carry knives repeatedly won’t be deterred by a criminal justice system that seems to have an increasing tolerance for them.
‘Parliament was clear in 2015 that repeat knife carriers should be jailed, yet more than 1,600 repeat knife carriers dodged a prison sentence last year, the highest number since records began.’
More than a third of repeat knife offenders are escaping jail due to an ‘increasing tolerance’ in courts [File image]
It comes as knife possession offences hit a record high in September 2022 [File image]
Data shows 12,786 knife offences were carried out in London over the year leading to March 2023, which is a 16 per cent rise from the year before, according to the Office for National Statistics.
READ MORE: Crime hits its highest level IN TWENTY YEARS with sharp rises in violent attacks, fraud and rape
While sex attacks in England and Wales have jumped by 20 per cent since 2019/20, there has been a ‘six-fold increase’ in advance fee fraud, in which victims are duped into paying upfront for services and goods that never materialise.
It follows a 20-year high for crime reported last year for similar offences, which has now risen by a further 400,000 offences since last year.
The total number of crimes recorded by police in England and Wales stood at 6.7 million in 2022/23, compared with 6.3 million in 2021/22.
However the ONS said this is ‘unlikely to reflect a genuine increase in crime’ because the rise was largely influenced by increases in the offence categories, which are ‘most subject to changes in reporting and recording practices’.
Nick Stripe, from the ONS’ Centre for Crime and Justice, said: ‘Some crime types are returning to their pre-pandemic levels, while others may have been affected by changes in people’s behaviour during the pandemic and the subsequent lifting of social restrictions.
‘Overall crime continues to be well below levels seen before the pandemic. This is in large part due to sharp falls in theft and criminal damage.’
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