Enfield MPs Nick de Bois and David Burrowes welcome support on knife crime campaign

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Conservative Enfield MPs campaigning to reform knife crime laws have welcomed the support from Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Enfield North MP Nick de Bois and Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes have launched a campaign to amend the Criminal Courts and Justice Bill.

The bill aims to impose a six-month jail term for adults carrying a knife for a second time, and the MPs are hopeful to include a mandatory four-month detention order for Under 18s.

However, Liberal Democrats have stood firm against the proposed law, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg claiming it is a “headline-grabbing” move by the Conservatives.

The Enfield Independent supported the pair’s previous anti-knife campaign ‘Don’t Carry Don’t Kill’ which was enshrined in law in December 2012 and dubbed the ‘Enfield Law’.

The Labour Party leader today came out in support of the reform, telling the BBC: "We definitely do want to use the legislation to strengthen the law and we are definitely sympathetic to the issue of mandatory sentences after a second offence, after conviction for a second offence.

"We need to make sure it's done in the right way, but that's where we stand, because I think the public want to know that we are going to send a strong message to people who carry knives repeatedly that it is not acceptable."

Mr de Bois said that he welcomed the cross-party support, but is “disappointed” with the reasons behind the deputy prime minister’s comments.

He said: “I am deeply disappointed with the deputy prime minister's response and I urge him to reflect on his reasoning. We are not sending people to prison who carry a penknife.

“I am pleased that there appears to be support from the Labour and we hope that they will continue to support our campaign.”

In response to the news, Mr Burrowes said: “Getting tougher knife crime sentences should gain cross party support and I’am pleased Labour seem to be coming on board.”

Mr Miliband is not the only politician to have backed the campaign in recent days, with Mayor of London Boris Johnson devoting his support to the Enfield politician’s campaign.

In a letter he said: “I wholeheartedly support your new clauses to introduce a mandatory six-month custodial sentence for adults for a second conviction of knife possession.

“London has suffered from the scourge of knife crime in recent years and too many people — including far too many young Londoners — have been victims of brutal attacks by those wielding knives as a weapon of choice.”

Mr Johnson also wished success for the campaign welcoming the “early opportunity" it provides to update the law.

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