What is knife crime?
Put simply, knife crime is a crime that involves a knife.
Knife crime includes:
- carrying a knife
- trying to buy a knife if you are under 18
- threatening someone with a knife
- owning a banned knife
- injuring or fatally wounding somebody with a knife
- intent to injure or harm somebody with a knife
- a robbery or burglary where a knife was carried as a weapon
What's the law?
Setting aside the damage inflicted by a knife on a life, the potential legal consequences for those who carry, and use in acts of violence, a knife are severe.
For simply carrying a knife in a public place or on school premises, the maximum penalty if convicted is four years in prison. Those found on more than one occasion to be in possession of a knife face a minimum sentence of six months.
For offences when a knife is used on another person or in the commission of a crime (i.e. street robbery), the punishments become even more life-changing.
Using a knife or another bladed instrument, depending on the circumstances and nature of injuries caused, can lead to offenders being charged with a range of offences, from assault to Section 18 Causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) with intent, from attempted murder to manslaughter and ultimately murder.
Such offences can lead to many years in prison. While committing murder carries a mandatory life sentences, offenders can also be sentenced to life in jail for committing a Section 18 GBH offence.
If someone is injured or killed by a knife while you are present you too could be prosecuted. You could potentially be sent to prison for murder in a ‘joint enterprise’.