No age limit on knife crime
No age limit on knife crime
Why this petition matters
In February of this year my 14 year old son was attacked by a group of 20 other youths. The youths in question were carrying knives, and other weapons intended to cause harm to my son. They began by beating my son to the floor and carrying out a sustained attack, before one of the youths pulled a knife and stabbed my son under the ribs. As a result of the attack and the use of the knife my son suffered from a punctured lung, and a laceration to both his diaphragm and his liver.
Me and his step dad were alerted to the incident, and when we arrived at the scene my son collapsed, and I held him while he bled out in front of me. My son touched my face and said “I love you mum, I am going to die” and through my tears I begged him to stay with me and to stay awake. Luckily help arrived and my sons life was saved, and although the physical injuries have now healed, the physiological damage will never heal.
Only 3 of the youths responsible for the attack on my son were arrested by the police, and sent before the magistrates courts. However due to them all being under the age of 16 years old, one youth received no further action, one was charged with ABH, and the youth who used the knife on my son received a 2 year suspended sentence under a youth rehabilitation programme.
It is my aim to petition to change the law so that regardless of the age of the defendant. If they are of the age of criminal responsibility, then at minimal they should receive a custodial sentence to fit the severity of the crime of using a knife to cause harm
Under the Children’s and Young Persons Act 1963 the age of criminal responsibility is 10 years old. That means that anyone aged 10 years, and over can be held accountable for their actions, and can therefore be arrested, detained and imprisoned. Currently you can be sentenced for to up to 4 years imprisonment for carrying a knife, even if you don’t use or intend to use it as a weapon to harm another person. There is also a mandatory minimum sentence of 6 months in custody for the Act of threatening another person with a knife, but these penalties only apply to those aged 18 years and over. Those aged 16 - 17 years of age will face a minimum of 4 months detention and a training order, but those aged under 16 are treated differently, and sentenced as youths, but I feel that the sentences that are imposed on those under 16 are far to lenient for the severity of the crime, and do not discourage youths from committing knife crimes, and only give the message that if your under 16 and commit such a crime you will get a second chance.
No parent should ever have to hear the words “I’m going to die ” out of the mouths of their children. So if you believe that using or carrying a knife to harm another person should carry at minimal an immediate custodial sentence regardless of age then please help me by signing this petition