Brown pledges new measures to tackle knife crime

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Indy Politics

Gordon Brown tonight promised new measures to tackle knife crime following the latest "shocking and tragic" stabbings in London.

The Prime Minister said in a statement that Home Secretary Jacqui Smith would set out the Government's latest plans on Monday.

"The terrible stabbings that have occurred this week are shocking and tragic, and my thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have been hurt or killed in these attacks," Mr Brown said.

He said that later in the week, the first ever cross-government youth crime plan will be published with new enforcement measures and improvements to sentencing.

It will also include and a new approach to youth crime prevention - including "tough parenting" programmes targeted on areas with the most problems.

Mr Brown said he had spoken to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair about the situation in London.

"I know the police are doing everything in their power to bring those responsible to justice," he said.

"I have asked to be kept updated on any developments. I thank the police for their efforts, and urge people to give them any help they can.

"We will continue to make absolutely clear that carrying a knife is unacceptable in our society."

Mr Brown said that people prosecuted for carrying a knife were now almost three times as likely to go to prison as in 1997.

Last month, the Government ended cautions for knife possession, replacing them with an expectation to prosecute while more money and equipment has been given to police forces in key areas to do more stop and searches.