Prime Minister David Cameron this afternoon pledged to look at introducing harsher penalties for those who carry knives following the murder of Black Country schoolgirl Christina Edkins.
Mr Cameron promised a review of knife laws as he spoke of his revulsion at the “horrific crime”.
Popular Christina was the victim of a random attack on the number nine bus as she travelled to Leasowes High School, in Halesowen. She died of a single stab wound to the chest.
During this afternoon’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Halesowen MP James Morris called for a change in the law that would presume anyone carrying a blade intended to use it.
The move would also see the current maximum four-year prison sentence for carrying a knife lengthened.
Mr Morris said: “The Government has rightly introduced custodial sentences for people convicted of threatening someone with a knife.
“Will the Prime Minister agree with me that it is time to introduce a legal assumption that people carrying a knife intend to use it and should attract a prison sentence so that we can re-double our efforts to rid our communities of the scourge of knives?”
Mr Cameron replied: “I think my honourable friend speaks for the whole house and indeed the whole country for his absolute revulsion at this really horrific crime.
“The whole house will, I know, wish to join me in sending our sincere condolences to Christina Edkins’ family.
“We do take knife crime extremely seriously. That is why as he said we’ve changed the law so that any adult convicted of a crime with a knife can expect to be sent to prison and for a serious offence they should expect a very long sentence.
“I will happily look at what he suggests and my right honourable friend the justice secretary is currently reviewing the powers available to the courts to deal with knife possession and he will bring forward proposals in due course.”
Phillip Simelane, aged 22, from Walsall, was arrested near the scene of the stabbing, on Hagley Road in Birmingham, last Thursday. Despite originally being detained in a secure unit for mental health assessments, police have been told they are able to charge him with murder.
The pledge on knife laws this afternoon came as it was revealed more than £2,000 has been collected at supermarkets and shops in the Black Country to go to Christina’s devastated family. Relatives described her as a “beautiful princess”.