AN MP has criticised inadequate sentences after a teenager found carrying a knife was given an £85 fine.
The 16-year-old from West Drayton, who cannot be named because of his age, was found in possession of a lock knife in Wren Drive, West Drayton. He admitted the offence at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on Monday, January 31. In addition to the fine, he was referred to a youth offending panel for nine months.
John Randall, Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, said: "It does not send out a strong message about the seriousness of carrying a knife. There is no need to carry one in a public place.
"I'm no expert on sentencing but this seems to be a very lenient sentence.
"The danger of carrying knives is that they can be used against those carrying them. We need to get the right message out to these kids.
"It perhaps does not need to be a custodial sentence straight away first time, but if it is a fine it needs to be a substantial amount to be a deterrent, or community service should be imposed."
He added: "We do not have a major knife crime problem in Hillingdon but, the point is, we do not want there to be one."
Just last Wednesday, home secretary Theresa May said anybody found carrying a knife should face jail.
She said: "On sentencing, we're absolutely clear that the sentence for somebody who is convicted of murder using a knife should be 25 years, and we're absolutely clear that somebody convicted of possession of a knife should expect a custodial sentence.
"That's tough sentencing from the government. We're clear that if you are caught in possession of a knife then what we're talking about is the expectation of a custodial sentence."
Seventy-two people have been injured as a result of knife attacks in the borough since April 2010.
While the figure may seem alarming, Hillingdon's police borough commander, Detective Chief Superintendent Julian Worker, said it is important to view the figures in context.
He said: "Across London there have been 3,500 people injured, and in Hillingdon we have seen a 30 per cent reduction.
"We have a clean-up rate for around one in four of these attacks."
A fortnight ago, a 39-year-old man was stabbed in Hayes, outside a pub in Uxbridge Road. Two attackers, who are in their late teens, are still at large.
Mr Worker added: "I am keen not to set an age, but it is important to give young people information. We want young people to come forward if somebody they know is carrying a knife to protect their friends, as figures show it is more likely that the knife will be used against them."