Knives on our streets
Jan 18 2008 by Andrew Baldwin, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
OUR towns and cities have become more violent places.
Stabbings have become commonplace and violent assault and knives are consistently used in threats against individuals.
Chief Insp David Oram from British Transport Police in Leeds has given an assurance that the region does not have “a significant knife culture”.
Yet figures published in the Examiner today show that an astonishing 285 weapons were recovered by his own force in a 12-month crackdown across the Yorkshire and the north-east.
And that’s just at railway stations and on trains. Multiply that by whatever else is being carried out there in the wider community and the situation is appalling.
Hammers, CS gas canisters and bats as well as knives were among the haul confiscated by police.
The days when we carried knives to whittle wood or peel apples are clearly over.
The suspicion must be that knives are now associated with the evils of killing, maiming and mutilating.
While many ordinary law-abiding folk will respond positively to any amnesty, thugs and criminals will not. Rather, they want to retain every weapon, and even to acquire more.
That is why the only true solution is for the courts to hand down harsher first-time penalties to those carrying or possessing illegal weapons, and increased sentences to re-offenders.
Clearly the present deterrents are not sufficient.