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Harsher Penalties For Possessing Knives

Harsher Penalties For Possessing Knives

David Garrett MP, ACT New Zealand
Friday, February 5 2010

ACT New Zealand Law & Order Spokesman David Garrett today welcomed High Court Judge Justice Asher’s call for the Government to review laws on knife possession, and agreed that offenders should face tougher penalties.

"Carrying a knife without a reasonable excuse was once a serious offence that drew harsh penalties. In the softening up of the justice system that has occurred over the past 20 years the harsh penalties for knife possession have been lost. It is time for that to change," Mr Garrett said.

"People – particularly young men - will always get into conflict with one another – a situation that can be made worse by alcohol. What would normally be a case of assault can quickly become deadly when knives are involved. If individuals are unarmed the risk of serious harm reduces dramatically.

"It’s too easy for would-be offenders to pick up a knife without thinking of the consequences. We need to send a message that knife possession is not acceptable in our society and harsher penalties will do this.

"If the Government is serious in its claim of taking a tougher stance on law and order, this is an area it cannot ignore," Mr Garrett said.

ENDS

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