Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 12:55 UK

Knife crime

DUP MLA Alex Easton asked the justice minister to introduce tougher sentences for people guilty of knife crime, on 19 October 2010.

He cited recent statistics which show that knife crime rose by 30 incidents in 2009-10 to 938, despite tougher measures being introduced by police following the murder of Belfast schoolboy Thomas Devlin in 2005.

Mr Easton's request for a schools education programme, a knife amnesty, stronger sentencing for victims and better services for victims found support across the chamber.

For Sinn Féin, Daithi McKay added that the minister should take note of education campaigns run by the Garda in Dublin.

The UUP's Ken Robinson said that drama workshops had been very useful in alerting young people in Scotland to the dangers of carrying a knife for protection

The SDLP's Conall McDevitt urged the minister to consider visible policing, which had also been shown to be effective in areas of Scotland.

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