Conclusion

If the status quo is maintained, this will not, on its own reduce the carrying of knives, and other weapons, by young people and their use in the commission of offences.  None of the options proposed will, in isolation, achieve the overall policy objective of reducing the carrying of knives, and other weapons, by young people in particular, and their use in the commission of offences.

A combination of regulatory and non-regulatory options that target different aspects of the problem is needed.  For example, education campaigns are useful for young people who are yet entrenched in offending behaviour where-as criminal sanctions are more appropriate for the most serious offending.  As a package there are likely to be costs, particularly to Corrections arising from an increase in the penalty for possession of an offensive weapon, but these are likely to be outweighed by the benefits from reduced offending and re-offending and greater community safety.