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Judge Judge speaks out about knife crime

It is good to hear that the judiciary are hearing the people. Hilariously named senior judge Sir Igor Judge, who is the President of the High Court Queen’s Bench Division, was quoted in the Telegraph today:

Carrying a knife or offensive weapon without reasonable excuse is a crime which is being committed far too often by far too many people. Every weapon carried about the streets, even if concealed from sight, even if not likely to be used or intended to be used, represents a threat to public safety and public order. That is because, even if carried only for bravado or carried for some misguided sense that it would be used in possible self-defense, it takes only a moment of irritation, drunkenness, anger, perceived insult, or something utterly trivial like a ‘look’, for the weapon to be produced. Then you have mayhem, and offences of the greatest possible seriousness follow, including murder, manslaughter, GBH, wounding and assault.

Offences of this kind have recently escalated. They are reaching epidemic proportions. Every knife or weapon carried in the street represents a public danger and, therefore, in the public interest, this crime must be confronted and stopped. The courts will do what they can to reduce and, so far as it is practicable, eradicate it. In our view, it is important for public confidence in the criminal justice system that the man or woman caught in possession of a knife or offensive weapon without reasonable excuse should normally be brought before the courts and prosecuted. Even if the offender does no more than carry the weapon, even when the weapon is not used to threaten or cause fear, when considering the seriousness of the offence, courts should bear in mind the harm which the weapon might foreseeably have caused.

So, the message is stark: this is a serious offence and it should be treated with the seriousness it deserves.

Welcome to our world Judge Judge.

2 replies on “Judge Judge speaks out about knife crime”

My opponent in the recent London election – a Labour magistrate – told me that eighty percent of ‘possession of a weapon’ cases she has seen have resulted in non custodial sentences. Despite Government pronouncements, it appears that sentencing guidelines and a shortage of prison places are letting criminals escape, again.

Roger,

The Standard did a piece highlighting these figures from the Home Office. Indeed 80% of people carrying were let off custodial sentences when the penalty was only 2 years. It is no use politicians talking about harsher sentences when the criminal justice system simply lets people off.

This statement from a senior judge gives us some hope that the liberals working in the criminal justice system feel the need to get aligned with the wider population on this subject and stop letting people off.

Our children will be infinitely safer when the police have systematically jailed a kid from say the 20-30 worst schools in London. There will be maybe 20-30 kids in jail, unfortunately for them, but the rest can get on with their lives free of the threat of knives. Behaviour will change very fast if people see their peers going off to jail for merely carrying.

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