BOURNEMOUTH West’s parliamentary candidate said she is ‘disappointed’ that the Home Office’s proposals against knife crime has no clear timeframe.

Jessica Toale, Labour parliamentary candidate for Bournemouth West spoke of what she thinks needs to be done following high-profile incidents in Bournemouth.

The Echo has launched a No More Knives campaign to encourage organisations to work together to improve the town.

In a bid to counterattack knife crime, the Home Office has announced plans to ban more ‘zombie-style’ knives and machetes. 

Possession of ‘zombie’ knives, defined as blades with a cutting edge, serrated edge and images or words suggesting it is used for violence, is already illegal.

However, new measures will widen the definition to include any bladed weapon more than eight inches long that fulfils a certain criterion.

The weapons must have a plain-cutting edge and sharp pointed end that also has either a serrated cutting edge, more than one hole in the blade or multiple sharp points like spikes.

The adapted definitions aim to close a loophole that have allowed dangerous weapons to be sold.

A new offence is also set to be introduced for possessing bladed articles “with the intention to endanger life or cause fear of violence.”

Those found guilty of importing, manufacturing, selling or possessing these weapons could face a maximum sentence of two years.

However, the Government have said that these new plans are yet to be legislated, ‘when parliament allows’ following a public consultation.

Bournemouth Echo: Parliamentary candidates, Jessica Toale and Tom Hayes, attending an anti-knife march earlier this

Jessica Toale, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Bournemouth West, said more needs to be done to tackle knife crime than just legislation.

"The government has finally woken up to the knife crime problem affecting communities across the country,” said Jessica.

“However, this is the sixth time the Conservatives have promised to ban zombie knives, and it is disappointing that there is no clear timeline for legislation.

“‘When Parliamentary time allows’ is generally a fob off which means it is at the back of the queue.”

READ MORE: Social media among factors influencing knife crime in Dorset

Jessica added that the government’s efforts to tackle knife crime are ‘welcome’, but are not the only changes that need to be implemented.

“We have seen a rise in serious violent crime, including amongst young people, across the country as a result of rising poverty, unemployment, poor mental health and a lack of youth services.

“Recently I’ve met parents who have been forced to take their kids out of after school clubs because they can no longer afford them, and they are worried about their well-being.

“I'd like to see efforts made to address all these areas if we are to fully reassure parents and our communities and ensure no more young lives are lost to such senseless and preventable violence."

Policing minister Chris Philp has previously defended the plans saying they would “go even further” in tackling knife crime, building on the Offensive Weapons Act 2019.