Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting ENFIELD NEWS to 80360, or email us
Victory for Enfield as Enfield Independent's anti-knife crime campaign Don't Carry Don't Kill becomes law
An anti-knife crime campaign backed by the Enfield Independent was enshrined in law yesterday.
The paper launched the Don’t Carry Don’t Kill drive in July last year to encourage the Government to give six month jail sentences to anyone aged 16 or over – rather than 18 as first proposed – caught using a knife in a threatening way.
The campaign, started by Enfield North MP Nick de Bois, set out to crack down on a spate of gang attacks involving youths carrying knives in Enfield.
Group Editor of the Times and Independent Series newspapers, Martin Buhagiar, said: “We are delighted we have played our part and supported Nick in this important campaign.
“We see the heartbreak that knife crime can cause and we are as keen to eradicate it as police and politicians.”
Hundreds of people signed a petition backing the campaign which called for the Government to amend its Justice Bill by allowing 16 and 17 year olds to be given a minimum six-month prison term.
It is hoped the law, which has been dubbed Enfield’s Law, will act as a deterrent to stop young people from carrying knives.
Mr de Bois, who kicked off the campaign, said: “I’m delighted that Enfield’s Law is now officially on the statute book, it will act as a strong deterrent.
"We of course need to match this with support for early intervention schemes and improvements in education, as a deterrent on its own is not enough.
“However, it is vital that people now know that if someone threatens them with a knife, that person will go to prison.”
He added: “Achieving this new legislation is something we as a borough can be very proud.
"Last year people were looking at the riots in Enfield and were shaking their heads in shock and dismay. Now they can look at Enfield and nod in approval."
Enfield Borough Council has also welcomed the law and thanked the Enfield Independent for campaigning for the positive change.
Cabinet member for community wellbeing and public health, Councillor Christine Hamilton, said: "Carrying a knife is completely unacceptable and I fully support the introduction of this law which will help reduce the number of people who are seriously injured on our streets.
"I'd like to thank the Enfield Independent for their support to the council and the police by their tireless campaigning on this subject which has helped bring about this new legislation, at a time when the press are under increasing scrutiny, they have behaved in the best traditions of local newspapers and achieved a fantastic result for Enfield and the UK as a whole."
She said the new law will act as a deterrent and help make Enfield “even safer” than it already is.