Opinion: No excuse for carrying knives

Meg Munn , Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley ' Picture Chris Lawton  06 May  2010
Meg Munn , Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley ' Picture Chris Lawton 06 May 2010
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If you’re caught carrying a knife, you should be sent straight to prison, says columnist Colin Drury...

When it comes to MPs, there can’t be many much better than Meg Munn.

She’s standing down at the 2015 election but in 14 years as member for Sheffield Heeley, she’s been exactly what a representative should be: loyal to the area, always available, and willing to fight on behalf of constituents. Kind of the opposite in fact of a career politicians like Ed Miliband, parachuted into places they’ve probably never heard of to pursue their own ambitions.

But one can’t help but feel Mrs Munn missed the, er, point in a parliamentary debate about knife crime recently. She voted against legislation to hand out mandatory jail terms to people convicted of a second knife crime because she didn’t want the law to apply to 16-year-olds.

Why on earth not?

Carrying and using knives results in ruined lives, whatever the age of the carrier. The moment a person - child, adult or a bit of both - leaves home with one they’re setting in motion a chain of events which all too easily end in death. Having a knife makes you a danger to society.

So, shouldn’t the law be made simple for everyone - including 16-year-olds? And there’s nowt more simple than to say: get caught with a knife and - no ifs, no butts - you’re looking at jail time.