Catherine Murphy TD

A multi-layered response is required to tackle knife crime across the country, according to Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy.

Deputy Murphy, who is the party’s spokesperson on justice, said:

“Figures supplied to me through a parliamentary question give rise to serious concerns.

“According to the Department of Justice, more than 18,000 knives have been seized nationally over the past decade. The annual figures show a strong upward trend, increasing from 1,344 in 2014 to 2,260 in 2020.

“Last year’s total number of seizures was 2,186 – the second-highest annual total in the past decade. When you look at the numbers over a 10-year period, they really jump off the page.

“It is important to remember that the number of knives seized are just a fraction of what are being carried.

“There has been renewed Government interest in law and order since Simon Harris was elected Taoiseach last week, with the Minister for Justice bringing a memo to Cabinet today in relation to tougher sentences for knife crime.

“However, while it is important that people feel safe, a multi-layered response is needed to deal with knife crime, including significant investment in youth work and early intervention measures.

“A knife amnesty, which was very successful in Scotland, could also be considered here. Using this model to remove knives from circulation is a good starting point for de-escalation.

“There should also be engagement by youth workers with young people who present at hospitals with stab injuries to address this problem in the longer-term.

“Sanctions on their own won’t work. There are already significant deterrents in place for knife crime, including the threat of imprisonment, but these do not seem to have addressed the worrying trend we have seen over the past decade.”

April 16, 2024

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