Tuesday, 8 July 2008

More knife nonsense

The hysteria around knife crime is reaching fever pitch; now it's an "epidemic", and magistrates are to be told to hand down the "most severe" sentences.

It all sounds so reasonable doesn't it? After all, we all despise knife crime, and would like to see knife-wielding thugs put behind bars.

But will this new tough line actually make a difference? Or will it just mean that police take the easy route, and nab a few harmless country folk to boost their statistics? Perhaps a few innocent countrymen banged up are seen as "collateral damage" that's worth it for the greater good?

I'm specially alarmed by the following quote from this article in The Guardian:
'Two factors can be taken into account in deciding a bottom of the range sentence: that the weapon was only carried on a temporary basis, or for a legitimate reason, such as in the course of trade or business...'

So, if I'm carrying a knife for a legitimate reason, I can expect to get off with only a light sentence??!

You'd think that decades of experience with firearms controls would have taught the authorities that vilifying an inanimate object does nothing to combat crime.

Still, I suppose it makes it look like they're doing something about it when The Sun comes to write the next day's headlines. Cynical? You bet!

There is one bright side to all this. If the cops are so busy checking me for knives, perhaps they'll forget to treat me as a suspected terrorist for carrying a camera.

1 comment:

Tom Sorenson said...

Man, that's rough. You bring up some good points - and I hope y'all can keep your rights to carry a knife over there. For cryin' out loud - are they talking like any knife? I mean I carry a pocket knife ALWAYS because there are a thousand situations every day that require a knife it seems like. That's ridiculous. I hope for y'alls sake that this is handled with more brains than that.