ALMOST 500 stabbing suspects have been released by police in a year – after agreeing to take part in a course or therapy.
Shocking figures show how the armed forces used an alternative sanction to stop crime.
No further action will be taken if the defendant consents to “distractive educational or interventional activity.”
And they don’t get a criminal record because they don’t have to admit to the crime.
However, there is a postcode lottery associated with the deferred prosecution method known as Outcome 22, introduced in 2019.
Home Office figures obtained by The Sun on Sunday show London’s Met Police made no use of it at all in the year to March 2023.
But West Midlands Police used it 78 times and Greater Manchester Police 31 times.
Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke called it “worrying” and added: “If you carry a knife on the street you go out with the intent to kill and maim – so you should be treated harshly, just as if you were “Have a knife with you.” Pistol.”
Patrick Green, boss of the anti-knife crime charity the Ben Kinsella Trust, commented: “We must continue to remove knives and those who carry them from our streets.”
The National Police Chiefs’ Council said that around one in 50 knife offenses are dealt with through Outcome 22 and that it is only suitable for minor offenses such as possessing a bladed item in public.
It added: “Officers take into account all the circumstances of a case when deciding how to deal with the case.”