Despite a post-pandemic increase in knife crime, the number of knife criminals sent to prison has reached its lowest level in six years.
In the 12 months prior to June, 5,819 knife criminals earned immediate imprisonment, compared to 6,402 in the preceding 12 months. Since 2015, when the figure was 5,040, this is the lowest number of knife offenders given an immediate prison sentence.
The Ministry of Justice revealed Monday that in England and Wales, 29.9% of knife and offensive weapon offenses resulted in immediate detention, down from 30.7% the previous year.
The data reflect a period during which the number of reported knife crimes increased by 8% annually, to 49,991.
Since a ‘two strikes and you’re out’ rule was implemented in 2017, the new data revealed that the lowest amount of repeat knife offenders were sent to prison.
Approximately 3,865 adults over the age of 18 were tried for recurrent knife crimes in 2014. Of those, 2,370 were taken into custody immediately, the lowest number since a revision in the law mandated a six-month minimum jail sentence for adult repeat offenders.
The same Act of Parliament established a minimum four-month “detention and training order” for repeat knife offenders aged 16 and 17. Yesterday’s statistics revealed the lowest number of 16- and 17-year-old repeat offenders sentenced to jail: 82, compared to 185 in 2019.
Judges may break from the “two strikes and you’re out” rule only if they determine that doing so would be “unjust.”
It occurred as the Metropolitan Police revealed disturbing CCTV footage of a ‘terrified’ mother being threatened by armed thieves while holding a toddler. The 22-year-old woman was at home in Wandsworth, south-west London, on Tuesday around noon when two guys forced their way in after knocking on her door.
A hooded man wearing a blue Tesco jacket is seen on camera forcing her into the kitchen at knifepoint. Nothing is believed to have been taken, and no injuries have been reported.
Separate data issued yesterday by the Ministry of Justice revealed that, across all categories of crime, an increasing number of offenders are being let off with a so-called “community resolution” as opposed to being prosecuted in court.
The “slap on the wrist” may require criminals to apologize to their victims, restore whatever harm they have caused, or pay restitution. In the 12 months preceding June, over 139,000 community resolutions were issued, an increase of 10,000 over the preceding 12 months.
However, the use of various “out-of-court” sanctions decreased. Prior to June, there were 49,700 cautions issued in England and Wales, down from 52,600 the previous year.