Cameron proposes automatic jail sentence for knife carriers. Watch

Antonia87
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David Cameron has stated that, should the Tories come into power as a result of the next general election, they will automatically impose a prison sentence on anyone found to be in possession of a deadly weapon in public. He also stressed that society has become "too sensitive" to say what is wrong and what is right.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/pressass/20...n-6323e80.html

Are you in favour of automatic prison sentences?
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Y__
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Where do they get those ideas from? The kind of people who carry knives and are willing to kill others with it will not be frightened of the idea that they might go to jail if they were found in possession of a knife. The only thing this law will do is to get innocent people arrested over carrying souvenir or kitchen knives.

edit:I'm unsure about the term "knife crime", though. Your link says Cameron wants people to go to jail for "knife crimes" - does this really include carrying one in public?
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frankie_sez_relax
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I think this is great.
(Original post by Y__)
The kind of people who carry knives and are willing to kill others with it will not be frightened of the idea that they might go to jail if they were found in possession of a knife.
I don't care whether they're afraid or not. They can be afraid or content locked up in prison.
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Prudy
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One immediate thought is that prison is not right for everyone, as such it could introduce some people to a path that they may otherwise have not have considered walking down.
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Antonia87
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(Original post by Y__)
Where do they get those ideas from? The kind of people who carry knives and are willing to kill others with it will not be frightened of the idea that they might go to jail if they were found in possession of a knife. The only thing this law will do is to get innocent people arrested over carrying souvenir or kitchen knives.

edit:I'm unsure about the term "knife crime", though. Your link says Cameron wants people to go to jail for "knife crimes" - does this really include carrying one in public?
Well I assumed considering one can be arrested for carrying a knife anyway that it would be covered by knife crime? I could be wrong.
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Tory_boy
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(Original post by Y__)
Where do they get those ideas from? The kind of people who carry knives and are willing to kill others with it will not be frightened of the idea that they might go to jail if they were found in possession of a knife. The only thing this law will do is to get innocent people arrested over carrying souvenir or kitchen knives.

edit:I'm unsure about the term "knife crime", though. Your link says Cameron wants people to go to jail for "knife crimes" - does this really include carrying one in public?
SUch a presumptious law is exactly what we need. The problems you are anticipating are highly unlikely to occur. If they do, and its clearly wrong, the presumption is unlikely to apply.
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GuyM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't most knives already covered by carrying a weapon in public, and consequently a jail sentence? (something like any blade with size over 3 inches?)

-Guy
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imomo16
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And that's gonna help with prison over crowding, isn't it. :rolleyes:
I'm inclined to agree with Y__, actually. People who carry knives are not going to be frightened by going to jail. A lot of people who associate with gang culture and linked to that knife crime actually think of having 'been inside' as something to respect.
I think more community level action needs to be taken about knife crime, not simply banging people up for a weapon they may simply carrying for self defence.
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Ewan
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Won't solve the problem. As the kid on the TV show pointed out, "knives are used because they are readily available, if they weren't we'd just use something else, everything is a weapon" - he used the example of a piece of wood he could break off a fence. Plus for the kind of people that do commit violent crime it will have to effect. These kids take/sell drugs, rob stores, beat people up with their bare hands, do you honestly think they will even think, let alone be worried about being arrested for carrying a knife. Their walking around with guns and machetes for christ sake which are already illigal.

Its like this wakey women on the TV the other day going on some campaign to make life sentences mean life. It won't make a difference. Thankfully Jack Straw didn't listen to a word she had to say
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Schmokie Dragon
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The article did not explicitly state that simply carrying a knife would be covered by this legislation, should it ever come to pass.

It would make life rather difficult for people if, for example, army cadets/scouts could not carry pen-knives in the pockets as they walked to a meet, or if farmers couldn't carry bladed implements. Christ knows, but I bought a sword at a local market once, and I am highly unlikely to go on a murderous rampage. It isn't black and white, and the article doesn't go into enough detail for us to discern what would be covered under "knife crime"
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faber niger
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No more BBQs for me.
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PhantomBoggler
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If its more specific. I mean if you're just carrying a knife out for protection, I have no problem giving those a jail sentence, but if you've just bought one for your cooking, then it's probably a bit unfair!
I guess it could be difficult to distinguish in the long run, but I guess you could start be seeing if it has packaging or something. Maybe knife sellers should only be allowed to sell it in full packaging, which is difficult to open, and the knife cannot be used without opening it (which would be a knife crime if done in public or something). Err yea, so that's probably why I'm not making the laws :p:
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-Leo-
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I think it would be interesting to paraphrase the age-old argument the NRA on this one: I think some people just live in a subculture whereby when 'word get's out' that they don't carry weapons, they become a target for those who do- hence they end up being obliged to carry one themselves.

You have to think of it in terms of payoff- the prospect of power over others held by a person carrying a weapon like a firearm, or in this case a knife is largely limited by the liklihood that the next person they threaten is carrying one too. Since these people have proven they're quite happy to break the law, those aforementioned individuals who are carrying knives (because they think it's less dangerous for them than not doing so) who will logically be in the majority (as it's easier to just carry a weapon than to carry one and then use it) will be less likely to do so. Hence the likelihood of getting power over others such as through mugging them by carrying a knife will likely increase, albeit with higher consequences for being caught.

Thus the more psychopathic individuals who are willing to take the risk will be more likely to actually attack someone, as this law would simply result in them realising a situation with there being fewer individuals able to resist them.

I''m not saying the law has no part to play, but I think the thing to increase is ultimately the liklihood of getting caught- and that could only be done through thorough screening and getting more police out there.
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Calumcalum
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No. Automatic jail sentence for those who mug people, or attack people for kicks etc.
I know a fair few people who simply carry or have carried a knife for protection. I feel vulnerable without a knife, and I think those who are carrying it for protection would be much more easily killed or targeted if they did not have a defence weapon. Defence is necessary at this time, and to give an automatic jail sentence for anyone carrying a knife is basically condemning many youngsters to jail or death.
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Lilflipsy
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(Original post by Calumcalum)
No. Automatic jail sentence for those who mug people, or attack people for kicks etc.
I know a fair few people who simply carry or have carried a knife for protection. I feel vulnerable without a knife, and I think those who are carrying it for protection would be much more easily killed or targeted if they did not have a defence weapon. Defence is necessary at this time, and to give an automatic jail sentence for anyone carrying a knife is basically condemning many youngsters to jail or death.
But isnt it more dangerous when you are carrying a knife? I mean, if you are not carrying one, you may just get beaten up, but if you do, then they will be likely to use theirs and a knife-fight will usually end up with someone dead, and that could be you.
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Calumcalum
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(Original post by Lilflipsy)
But isnt it more dangerous when you are carrying a knife? I mean, if you are not carrying one, you may just get beaten up, but if you do, then they will be likely to use theirs and a knife-fight will usually end up with someone dead, and that could be you.
In a utopia, of course I would hope that no one would carry one. However, in reality, it is perfectly easy to carry a knife, stab someone, carry a gun, shoot someone etc. Taking into the account the ease of which young people here carry weapons, I would say that it is much safer to carry a weapon yourself for your own protection. If the government actually cared enough to do something major about it and actually had a significant way of getting the majority of aggressive knives (carried for attack, not defence) off the street, I may change my mind. But at the moment, the reality is that automatic jail sentences are only going to imprison the innocent, or leave them defenceless to the huge amounts of knives still on the streets (the idea that the police could get rid of all, or even the majority is ridiculous). Imagine anyone being mugged or held at knifepoint on the way to school; I would say it is unreasonable to jail them for taking a knife on their way the next day (as friends have done), just so they feel protected.
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footy99
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Surely this problem could easily be overcome if the government stopped giving funding to the police on a quota basis and just giving them a lump sum or something so that they can solve and prevent the crime that needs solving and preventing than working on the crime that doesn't really need preventing and is there just to fill up quotas?

(Long sentence/question...sorry)
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joker_900
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(Original post by Y__)
Where do they get those ideas from? The kind of people who carry knives and are willing to kill others with it will not be frightened of the idea that they might go to jail if they were found in possession of a knife. The only thing this law will do is to get innocent people arrested over carrying souvenir or kitchen knives.

edit:I'm unsure about the term "knife crime", though. Your link says Cameron wants people to go to jail for "knife crimes" - does this really include carrying one in public?
On the BBC article it said that he also said that policemen should be able to use common sense in not arresting a fisherman with a pen knife or someone carrying a newly bought kitchen knife in a carrier bag, but rather people with a big knife stuffed down their track suit.
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rlw31
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(Original post by joker_900)
On the BBC article it said that he also said that policemen should be able to use common sense in not arresting a fisherman with a pen knife or someone carrying a newly bought kitchen knife in a carrier bag, but rather people with a big knife stuffed down their track suit.
Yeah, but the police should be using common sense with loads of things, but they don't, because they have to reach endless targets on the number of arrests they make, but that's for another debate.

Personally, I think that there should be an automatic jail term for knife/gun crime etc. I know in the short term it's not always going to be the best thing to do, in terms of putting someone in contact with even more dangerous criminals, but it certainly is the best way to keep the wider public safe.

For the long term, I think the goverment needs to fully investigate why these types of crimes are happening and prevent people from feeling the need to pick up a knife etc. Also there should be better rehabilitation in prisons to reduce the number of re-offebders
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burningnun
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(Original post by Calumcalum)
In a utopia, of course I would hope that no one would carry one. However, in reality, it is perfectly easy to carry a knife, stab someone, carry a gun, shoot someone etc. Taking into the account the ease of which young people here carry weapons, I would say that it is much safer to carry a weapon yourself for your own protection. If the government actually cared enough to do something major about it and actually had a significant way of getting the majority of aggressive knives (carried for attack, not defence) off the street, I may change my mind. But at the moment, the reality is that automatic jail sentences are only going to imprison the innocent, or leave them defenceless to the huge amounts of knives still on the streets (the idea that the police could get rid of all, or even the majority is ridiculous). Imagine anyone being mugged or held at knifepoint on the way to school; I would say it is unreasonable to jail them for taking a knife on their way the next day (as friends have done), just so they feel protected.
A knife seems like a pretty crap defensive weapon, likely to get you in prison. I would rather have a TASER or a can of Mace, which are, of course, both illegal.
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