Former gang member: Tougher sentences will stop people carrying knives

A man formerly involved with gangs has spelt out the obvious to our politicians: tougher prisons sentences would deter people from carrying knives and committing crime.

Robert Bragg, who served six years in prison for a range of gang-related crime, told the BBC: “I did it because I wanted the older lot to like me and because I thought it was the right thing to do at the time.

“To be honest with you, I’ve stabbed quite a lot of people.

“If I was to sit here and count I wouldn’t be able to. People remind me, to this day, about people I’ve stabbed that I don’t remember.

“We wanted to be bad – look bad, become the gang that everyone feared. We had to carry out a lot of violent crimes to become that gang.

“Giving tougher sentences will prevent people from carrying knives because nobody wants to go to jail for 10 or 15 years just for carrying a knife.”

Bragg also said he would “increase stop and searches”. He is now part of a programme designed to stop kids getting involved in crime.

This follows on from the National Chairman of the Police Federation, John Apter, calling for “much harsher sentencing powers” and a move to “build more prisons, we need to punish people”.

The number of fatal stabbings just hit its highest level since records began in 1946. Strong action needs to be taken, with more prisons and tougher sentences to deter criminal thugs.