This week in the House of Commons I supported changing the law on knife crime in England to provide an automatic term of imprisonment for anyone caught possessing a knife for the second time. If this measure passes through the Lords and becomes law then anyone over 16 caught with a knife twice will be jailed for a minimum of six months.
This is a significant step forward in the fight against knife crime in Britain. Although Kent has below average knife crime compared to other parts of the UK, it is still a problem which we need to tackle.
Mandatory sentences have worked well for other crimes. People know that if they are caught drink driving they will be banned from driving for a year and people who possess a firearm know they face a minimum of five years in prison if caught.
This new law sends a strong message to people that carrying a knife will not be tolerated. We have seen all too often the tragic consequences of people carrying knives. Too many lives, many of whom were just teenagers, have been ended by people carrying a knife.
I hope this new law will send a strong message to people that it is not ok to carry a weapon.