Skip to main content

Knife Crime (Lancashire)

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

11. How many incidents of knife crime there were in Lancashire in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. (254647)

The Home Office publication “Crime in England and Wales 2007-08” shows that there were 361 knife and sharp instrument offences in Lancashire in 2007-08. Lancashire police are taking part in the tackling knives action programme, implementing an intensive programme of enforcement and prevention action focused on teenage knife crime.

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. I am sure that he would agree that far too many knife crimes are taking place in Lancashire. My constituent Jessica Knight is one of those statistics. She almost died. Thankfully, she is making a recovery, although it is very slow. This House wishes her well. We are doing something about knife crime, but we want to do more. Will my hon. Friend look to ensure that peer pressure is put on young people not to carry knives and that we find the extra money and resources to educate people in schools? The Music Café in Chorley is an alternative to being on the streets, carrying a knife. We have to do more. Will he do more and what can he tell us today?

I am sure that the whole House will join my hon. Friend in sending our best wishes and thoughts to Jessica Knight, his constituent. The House will also be aware that her assailant was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum tariff of 12 years. That shows the importance of enforcement, which is a key part of the tackling knives action programme. As my hon. Friend said, a key part of that programme is working with young people to educate them through whatever media we have at our disposal, finding out what message works best for that group and sending out the strongest message, which is: “If you carry a knife, not only do you put others in danger, but you put yourself in danger.”