Curran calls for knife amnesty to support Bill aimed at tougher sentences

by Padraig Conlon

A local TD is calling for a knife amnesty to help support new legislation from his party.

Fianna Fail TD for Dublin Mid-West, John Curran has called for the amnesty to support Fianna Fail’s Firearms and Offensive Weapons [Amendment] Bill 2019 which introduces tougher sentences for knife crime.

The proposed legislation was debated during Fianna Fail’s Private Members Business in the Dail recently.

“The purpose of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons (Amendment) Bill 2019 is to deter the carrying of knives, by increasing from five to ten years the sentence that can be imposed,” Deputy Curran said.

“It is apparent that in recent years the incidence of knives being used in crime has increased significantly. It is disappointing to learn that the CSO does not keep figures on this.

“It is my view that this legislation should be fast-tracked.

“It is my own strong position and view that the Bill should be also accompanied by a knife amnesty.

“Gardai are aware of the growing trends of knife crime in Ireland.

“It has established a working group to formulate a national strategy to deal with assaults against the person.”

Deputy Curran said that he fully supported the fast tracking of legislation, in the hope it may prevent further knife deaths from occurring.

Currently, people can get a maximum sentence of five years and/or a fine for carrying a knife intended to incapacitate or injure another person.

“If we look at the statistics that are available from An Garda Siochana, while they do not measure the crime, gardai have talked about the number of knives seized and the figures have increased by about 400 seizures per annum,” Curran said.

“There is no point just increasing the penalty without the general population realising that possession of a knife is a serious offence and the sentence will reflect that.”

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