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Minimum time served for knife murders increased
11 Mar 2010

Murderers who carry a knife to the scene of the crime will now face a longer jail sentence as the minimum sentence before being considered for release has been increased to 25 years.

The ten-year increase is the result of a detailed review and brings the offence more in line with murder using a firearm, where the starting point is 30 years.

The new standards will apply to offences committed on and after March 2, 2010.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw said: “I have seen the devastation that knife crime can cause. The loss of a loved one in any circumstances is heart-breaking, and even more so when they are the victim of a senseless and appalling murder.

It is only right that those who carry knives with the intention of using them, go to prison for a long time.

“That is why I announced in November last year that the jail term available to judges when sentencing anyone who kills using a knife, carried onto the street will start at 25 years.”

He added: “I am determined to stamp out knife crime on our streets. The Government is very clear that serious crimes must have serious consequences.

“It is partly by introducing tough sentences like these that we have seen crime fall by almost 40 per cent since 1997.

“If you carry a knife there is now more chance than ever of being caught. You are more likely to be stopped and searched. You will be arrested and, for the first time, there is now a presumption that you will be prosecuted. If found guilty, you are three times more likely to go to prison than in 1997, and for a third longer.

“There is clearly much still to do but keeping knife killers in jail and off the streets for longer is an important step.”



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