More teens caught with knives are being spared jail — despite knife crime epidemic reaching a nine-year high – The Sun

MORE teenagers caught with knives are being spared jail despite soaring numbers of stabbings.

Shock figures show there was a 17 per cent drop last year in the number of juveniles being locked up after being found with a weapon.

It comes despite overall knife crime offences dealt with by the courts reaching a nine-year high, many of them involving youngsters.

Yvette Cooper, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “It’s very worrying that the number of knife and offensive weapons offences are at their highest number since 2010.

“It’s shocking that the Government still don’t have a grip on this violent epidemic.”

The statistics published yesterday by the Ministry of Justice show 22,041 knife and offensive weapon crimes were dealt with by the criminal justice system in the year to March 2019.

It is the highest number since 2010 and a 34 per cent rise in just four years.

It’s shocking that the Government still don’t have a grip on this violent epidemic.

The number of under-18s convicted or cautioned has risen by almost half (48 per cent) since 2015.

Yet over the past year the number of juveniles given immediate custodial sentences plummeted from 624 to 518.

At the same time, the number of adults being sent to prison has risen 6 per cent.

However for the few yobs who were detained, the average sentence rose from 6.9 to 7.6 months.

A record 4,959 repeat offenders were taken to court in England and Wales under the “two strikes” law, 411 of whom were 17 or younger – but just half of them were locked up.

Justice minister Robert Buckland said: “This Government is committed to doing everything in its power to stop knife crime and its devastating consequences on lives and communities.”



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