5:54pm Wednesday 25th April 2012
By David Hardiman
A new law setting out mandatory prison sentences for teenagers wielding knives introduced after an Enfield Independent campaign is set to come into force tomorrow.
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, which will see 16 and 17-year-olds handed custodial sentences for at least four months for using knives in a threatening way, is likely to be given Royal Assent after months of negotiations between MPs and Lords.
The Government amended the bill, dubbed ‘Enfield’s law’, in October after the Enfield Independent’s three-month Don’t Carry, Don’t Kill campaign that called for tougher sentences for knife crime offenders.
Our campaign, which was supported by Enfield North MP Nick de Bois, Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes, Edmonton MP Andy Love, Enfield Council, and anti-knife crime campaigners, came after a spate of murders in the borough.
15-year-old Edmonton County School pupil Negus McClean, 14-year-old Leroy James and 21-year-old Steven Grisales all died in a summer of violence.
Ministry of Justice figures suggest that each year up to 400 teenagers could be jailed under the new legislation.
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