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Four in Ten Repeat Knife Crime Offenders Spared Jail Time


The lax judicial system is sparing more repeat knife crime offenders from prison than at any time since the government introduced a so-called two-strike system in 2015.

According to an analysis of Ministry of Justice statistics conducted by the Independent website, almost four in ten of the over 4,000 repeat knife crime offenders did not face prison time in the year leading up to September of 2023 in England and Wales.

The report found that 38 per cent of repeat knife criminals avoided immediate jail terms, an increase from 35 per cent the year prior and the low of 28 per cent in 2019.

Additionally, the rate of those merely given suspended sentences climbed to 23 per cent last year, which tied the record high set in 2021 and in one per cent of cases, the repeat knife crime offender was merely handed down a fine.

It comes despite the Conservative government under former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015 introducing a two-strike system, which mandated that adults convicted of more than one knife crime face a minimum of six months in prison.

This mandate was further laid out by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 which specifically told judges that repeat knife crime offenders must face prison time unless “exceptional circumstances” are present.

The surge in repeat offenders being spared jail time comes amid a broader escalation in knife crime in Britain, with the number of offences recorded surging by five per cent in England and Wales to 49,000 in the year up to September. According to the analysis, nearly 45 per cent of murders were done with a knife or a sharp weapon.

Despite pledges from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak — as well as his predecessors — to crack down on knife crime, offences have risen considerably under the Conservative Party’s leadership. Since coming into power in 2010, the number of knife crime incidents per year has risen from 36,000 to 50,500 last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

While the government has often touted “bolstering” police forces across the country with 20,000 new officers, between governments between 2010 and 2018, the number of officers in the country fell by over 21,000 in England and Wales, meaning the number of police is still be lower than when the Tories came into power.