Carrying knife in Britain rarely invites jail

September 2nd, 2011 - 7:40 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 2 (IANS) Less than one in five thugs, who are caught carrying knives, faces jail term in Britain, official figures have revealed.

With just 19.7 percent being locked up, the figures make a mockery of the Tories? pre-election pledge that anyone carrying a knife should be jailed, the Daily Express reported, adding that this is the first time that the proportion has dropped below 20 percent since 2008.

The number of those jailed has plummeted from almost 1,600 three years ago to 1,024 of the 5,190 offenders sentenced between April and June this year.

This is despite guidelines that the starting point for the lowest level of knife possession should be 12 weeks in prison. Most of those jailed were given three months or less.

Home Secretary Theresa May earlier this year had warned thugs caught in public with knives: ?Expect to go jail?.

Meanwhile, Nick de Bois, a Tory MP for Enfield North, one of the areas hit badly by last month’s riots, is tabling an amendment to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke’s sentencing bill.

It calls for a mandatory prison term for knife crime to apply to under-18s as well as adults.

He said: “If you use a knife to threaten or endanger a life, you will go to prison regardless of age.”

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