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Tougher laws needed for knife crime – Ring

31st January 2024 - Michael Ring TD

Stronger legislation is required for Gardaí to combat knife crime and keep our streets safe, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Deputy Michael Ring is calling for a of review the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990, to strengthen the laws surrounding knives.

“Knife crime is on the rise in Ireland. Figures show that between 2016 – 2022, a shocking 13,138 knives were seized by Gardaí. Fine Gael are committed to ensuring safer streets and stronger communities. It is becoming abundantly clear that tackling knife crime is central to that.

“I acknowledge the hard work of the Justice Minister Helen McEntee n this serious matter. The Anti-Social Behaviour Forum (a Programme for Government commitment) and the knife crime sub-committee have made considerable progress in examining the various approaches which can deal with these issues at source.

“Minister McEntee has informed me the knife crime sub-group last met on December 19th last to outline new proposals to address knife crime.

“Proposals include increasing the penalties for more serious knife-crime offences. Any potential amendments to existing legislation will be considered by Minister McEntee’s department colleagues and key justice sector agencies,” Deputy Ring said.

Currently, someone found in unlawful possession of a knife in a public place can be fined and receive a prison sentence of 12 months.

Deputy Ring said we need to have stronger laws as soon as possible.

“When knife crime does occur, we need to ensure Gardaí are supported in their efforts to tackle these kinds of offences.

“It’s time to make the necessary changes to the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990 so that anyone caught carrying a knife or using a knife to inflict harm on another faces the full extent of the law.

“Rigorous legislation combined with the preventative measures already in motion would create a substantial and effective deterrent.

“Too much knife crime is being committed in Ireland and we have to deal with it.

“We owe it to the victims, their families and to the Gardaí to create the robust legislation needed to crack down on these harmful weapons and those who use them maliciously,” Deputy Ring said.

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