Date lodged: 13 September 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what strategy it has in place to deal with knife crime, and what the impact on this would be of extending the presumption against criminal sentences of up to 12 months.
Answered by: Michael Matheson 28 September 2017
Scotland's approach to tackling knife crime is based on a twin approach of education and diversion activity and robust enforcement measures. Along with the Scottish Government's on-going investment in the 'No Knives Better Lives' campaign, the Scottish Government recently increased the maximum custodial penalties for carrying a knife from 4 years to 5 years and is committed to working with the UK Government in seeking to address issues relating to the online sale of knives.
It is not expected that there will be any impact on tackling knife crime by extending the presumption against short sentences up to 12 months. Discretion will remain with the court to determine in any given case whether a custodial sentence is merited including for offences involving knives.