Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Article excerpt

The Home Office has revealed that more than 17,000 weapons were handed in during the first week of a national knives amnesty. The haul, which included machetes, meat cleavers and axes as well as knives, were surrendered to the 43 police forces across England and Wales. Home Secretary John Reid told MPs on June 19 that the government is considering extending the maximum sentence for carrying a knife or similar weapons by amending the Violent Crime Bill before it goes to report stage in the Lords.

Conservative leader David Cameron wants criminals to serve greater proportions of their terms behind bars and is looking at ways to fund additional prison space. The Tories are considering allocating £15bn to create more places in Britain's near-capacity prisons. Chief inspector of prisons Anne Owers warned last week that prisons are close to capacity, with fewer than 1,800 places left. The Tory plans follow a row over the early release of offenders.

Jack Straw, the leader of the Commons, has called for a permanent cap on the amount political parties are allowed to spend. A review is being carried out into party funding by Sir Hayden Phillips, set up in the wake of the cash-for-peerages row. Rules imposing spending limits apply currently only to election campaigns.

The government's architectural advisory body, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, has launched a search for the most badly designed building in Britain. …

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