Cherie Blair to probe UK gun and knife crimes

March 27th, 2008 - 1:43 pm ICT by admin  

London, Mar.27 (ANI): Former British Prime Minister Tony Blairs wife, Cherie Blair, has been signed up by Channel 4 to investigate gun and knife crimes.
According to The Sun, she will head an independent inquiry — the Street Weapons Commission — to discover why young people routinely carry guns and knives.
It will hear from interested parties, including members of the public, at hearings across Britain, and its report will be published in June to coincide with a five-part series The Truth About Street Weapons.
She said: Like many others, Im deeply concerned that guns and knives are becoming a part of everyday life for some young people in Britain.
As a barrister and part-time judge, I have to sentence offenders who have committed crimes with such weapons and have seen for myself the misery that they cause not only to the victims but to themselves and their families.
The Commission aims to engage people in the debate and explore ideas based on real-life experiences which will help to combat the increasing use of weapons on our streets.
Gun crime has a devastating impact on the lives of victims, perpetrators, families and communities. At a time when overall crime is falling in Britain, gun crime is on the rise. Police figures show that people involved in gang violence are getting younger, and the offences more serious. A recent research by Communities that Care found that 1 in 10 schoolchildren in the UK have admitted to carrying knives.
Last year, the British Parliament passed the Violent Crime Reduction Act to counter the spate of gun and knife deaths. The new laws make it an offence to get someone else to carry or hide guns and knives. Those found guilty of using children to hide firearms face a sentence of up to 10 years and those using minors to mind knives will face up to four years in prison. People using other adults will face a maximum jail sentence of five years.
The range of offences for which an offender can be given a mandatory minimum five-year sentence was also extended beyond simple possession of a banned firearm. The maximum sentence for carrying an offensive weapon was raised from two to four years’ imprisonment last year. (ANI)

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