Sajid Javid and David Gauke clash over knife crime crackdown
Justice Secretary David Gauke has intervened to block Sajid Javid’s plans to rush through a fresh crackdown on knife crime.
The Home Secretary wants to bring in new powers that could see 10 to 17-year olds handed custodial sentence for breaching civil orders on possessing the deadly weapons.
The proposals were set to be rushed through via an amendment to the Offensive Weapons Bill currently going through Parliament, meaning they could be implemented within weeks.
But Mr Gauke has demanded evidence from Mr Javid that the so-called "knife Asbos" would be effective in bringing knife crime down.
In a letter seen by civil servants, Mr Gauke wrote: “I do not want to see large numbers, especially of young people, serving ineffective short sentences for breaches of civil orders.”
The Justice Secretary added that although he was committed to “giving full and careful consideration to any gaps in police powers” any new measures must be “preventative, proportionate and affordable”.
A Whitehall source told the Times Mr Javid was “grandstanding on knife crime”.
Chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Crook, said: “Sajid Javid is playing politics with knife crime which is unacceptable and David Gauke is right to challenge him for the evidence that knife prevention orders will do anything to deter people from carrying knives or to protect people.”