Home Affairs Committee Press Notice

Knife Crime

New inquiry

The Home Affairs Committee has today launched a new inquiry entitled “Knife Crime”. The Committee will investigate levels and causes of knife crime, profiles and  attitudes of offenders, and will assess effective solutions.

The Committee will focus particularly on identifying effective responses and will examine in particular the following issues:

• Availability and reliability of data, knife-carrying offences and hotspots

• Offender profiles, and public perceptions of levels of knife crime

• Causes: reasons for knife-carrying and use

• Causes: availability of knives

• Current legislation

• Solutions: education, parents and community projects

• Solutions: police operations, amnesties and enforcement

• Solutions: convictions, penalties and sentencing

Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Committee, said:

“The public is rightly very concerned about levels of knife crime, and people no longer feel safe on our streets. The shockingly high number of teenage knife murders in London this year alone demonstrates the seriousness of the problem and the need for urgent action by the Government”.

“The Committee wants to investigate the reasons why individuals carry and use knives, what can be done to prevent knife crime and ensure that those convicted of knife crime are appropriately punished”.

The Committee is seeking written submissions of no more than 2,500 words from interested parties, before it takes oral evidence on this inquiry. Further advice on making a submission can be found below. 

Oral evidence sessions will be held in the autumn of 2008: further announcements will be made in due course.


Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format-not PDF format-and sent by e-mail to homeaffcom@parliament.uk. The use of colour and expensive-to-print material, e.g. photographs, should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/witness.cfm.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

Please bear in mind that the Committee is not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Session 2007-08/ 54 15 July 2008