Boris Johnson has vowed to “come down hard” on the “scourge” of knife crime if the Tories win a majority at the General Election, with a pledge to immediately arrest and promptly charge anyone caught unlawfully with a blade.
The Prime Minister, who was visiting a boxing gym in Manchester on Tuesday morning, said the Conservatives would give the police powers to “act decisively and effectively” to prevent crime.
Under the proposals, anyone caught unlawfully with a knife would be arrested immediately, charged within 24 hours and appear in court within a week – which the Tories say would be three times faster than the current average.
A new court order would allow police to target known knife carriers, while violence reduction units would receive a £35 million boost next year to aid preventative work.
Mr Johnson said: “A majority Conservative government would come down hard on the scourge of knife crime.
“We have committed to putting an extra 20,000 police officers on our streets, but they need to have the powers to act decisively and effectively to prevent crime and see that offenders face justice.
“That’s why today we are announcing greater freedoms for the police to use stop and search on individuals who are known to have carried knives in the past. We are also speeding up prosecutions to make sure the threat of being caught is always an effective deterrent.”
He added: “Just as with our plans to improve schools and hospitals, we can only do any of this if we end the gridlock in parliament with a Conservative majority government.
“We had to call this election to end that deadlock and now the choice is simple – either we can have more confusion and delay with Jeremy Corbyn, who wants to call two more chaotic referendums next year, or we have a Conservative government who will get Brexit done and focus on the people’s priorities like tackling violent crime, improving our NHS and investing in schools across the country.”