Britain cracking down on people carrying knives
LONDON, June 5 -- Leila Shire stood outside her central London apartment block, where a 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death this week, the 11th teenager killed with a knife in London this year.
"A lot of people are carrying" knives, said Shire, 24, a family friend of Arsema Dawit, who police say was the unarmed victim of a 21-year-old man charged with stabbing her repeatedly in an elevator. . . .
Knife crime among young people has sparked a widespread debate in recent weeks in Britain, where police say they have seen "a worrying trend" toward more severe knife attacks involving younger attackers and victims.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Thursday announced a crackdown on teenagers carrying knives, saying that those as young as 16 will be prosecuted for knife possession on the first offense. Previously, anyone younger than 18 generally received only a warning.
"Young people need to understand that carrying knives doesn't protect you, it does the opposite -- it increases the danger for all of us, destroys young lives and ruins families," Brown said after meeting with top police and government officials at his 10 Downing Street office. "Recent tragic events have reminded us of that." . . .
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, the government official in charge of public security, said the government has also doubled the maximum sentence for knife possession to four years. And she said the government plans to spend about $6 million on an advertising campaign to steer young people away from knive. . . .
Thanks very much to Ron Oglesby for sending me this link.