16 – How to stop gang/knife crime in the UK
A few thoughts:
In the last few days, politicisations from all parties are blaming each other.
Some claim its lack of police, others say get tougher on people who have knifes on them.
I suspect the answer is not increase police, or trying to ban more and more (we ban things all the time in the UK with no results).
My answer is this.
1. Increase sentences
If someone stabs someone, stop letting them off with a few months at most in prison. Often crimes are reduced, such as attempted murder end up as assault. The prison sentaces are so low that, they are no deterrent.
2. Have plea bargaining
If your arrested in the UK, you need to have a situation that they will be encouraged to inform on others. This will ensure that more people are arrested, and it will save money on police investigations. It will also create mistrust in gangs as gang members will simply not trust each other.
The problem with crime with gangs is lack of evidence.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, solution in a tweet “No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law.” At most this will simply give people a criminal caution. If they start giving prison sentences out, you may encourage people to carry guns as they would not get many more years for having one. Plus its very easy to hide a weapon on you (and almost anything can be used as a weapon). One suspects the result will be lots of innocent people getting criminal records as many carry pen-knifes. And yes, there is a reason to carry a knife, as many people use them for work or/and hobby’s. Also decent people should not need to even have a reason to have one (by this, if they do carry one, they should not need to justyfy having one as we are not in a communist police state country, or are we?).
Increasing police numbers does not do very much. Police can stop someone, search them, and 5 mins later they can still kill someone.
3. Legalise drugs
One thing too that would help is to legalise drugs. This way it takes away finance from these gangs, which are often making money from selling drugs.
But one huge problem in the UK is the pathetic sentences. For instance someone I know who has now over 100 convictions has assaulted someone again and has got 6 months (apparently the maximum sentence) but will do 3 months (you serve half) although for some technical reason will be doing less than 3 months. And once out, rewarded with a flat and lots of benefits, which he will (by going on other times) use to fund his drug and drinking use, which in turn will lead to more crime.