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article imageVictorian Government Moves to Combat Rising Knife Crime

By Sam Duck     Mar 5, 2010 in Crime
The Victorian Government has announced new laws to combat the recent spate of knife related crimes. It follows many stabbings in the state and growing voter anger over the apparent inaction.
It has announced a $1000 on the spot fine will be given to any person over 16 found carrying a weapon. Other measures include banning minors purchasing weapons and giving police new powers to search people at random.
The announcement also comes as graphic ads speaking against knife crime are said to be aired to discourage violence.
Many have criticised the move as token and not strict enough. Some suggest it is just an attempt to quash declining voter confidence in Premier John Brumby, who has been criticised over handling of increasing violence in the state. The opposition is calling for harsher penalties and more action.
Knife crime and alcohol fuelled violence has dominated the media in recent times and the government would be keen to make some significant inroads into reducing the problem. The election will be held November this year.
The move coincides with reports of schoolyard violence. It is reported that a 13 year old girl threatened a classmate with a knife at Bellarine Secondary College. The teen allegedly produced a knife after the victim had asked why she was calling her names.
Whilst police have talked to the offender she has not been charged over the apparent assault. The girl has been suspended for two days and may face expulsion. The victim was understandably terrified by the situation.
This follows the death of Elliot Fletcher, 12, who was allegedly stabbed by a 13 year old student in Queensland in February. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd showed disgust at the tragedy, "Australia's not the sort of place where this should be happening in a schoolyard." The unnamed Year 9 student, charged with murder, has been refused bail.
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