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'Longer jail terms needed for knife crime', says Dublin TD

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Fianna Fail’s Jim O’Callaghan

Fianna Fail’s Jim O’Callaghan

Fianna Fail’s Jim O’Callaghan

The video of a man using a long-blade knife to corner another man in the Basin Street flats complex in Dublin's inner city and stab him repeatedly has led to calls for a knife crime clampdown.

Not only is the use of knives a major worry, but the fact that attacks are being deliberately recorded by the aggressors to be used as examples to others is seen as a development that exposes just how brazen and unafraid of the law some criminals are.

"The problem with knife crime in Ireland is clearly evident from this video recording of a knife attack in Dublin," said Fianna Fail justice spokesman Jim O'Callaghan.

"Such scenes are unacceptable.

"Fianna Fail introduced legislation last year to impose longer prison sentences for possession of knives with intent to injure or cause harm.

"The next government needs to expedite that legislation so that all people are aware that it is unacceptable to carry knives to inflict harm," he said.

Sentencing

"At present the maximum sentence for carrying a blade is five years.

"Under Fianna Fail's legislation that maximum sentence would be increased to 10 years.

"The incidence of knife crime in Ireland has increased in recent years and a clear message needs to be sent out that carrying knives for violent purposes is completely unacceptable," Mr O'Callaghan added.

The number of knife seizures by gardai in Ireland rose by more than 60pc between 2016 and 2018.

Gardai seized 1,936 knives in 2018, compared to 1,600 in 2017 and 1,197 in 2016.

Knives are also being discovered by gardai during drug seizures.

Last December, as part of Operation Pier, gardai from Pearse Street Garda Station conducted a search operation at a number of residences at Pearse Street.

Along with the cocaine haul a number of knives were also seized.