We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Cabinet approves increasing knife-crime sentences
Minister of State James Browne Pic: RollingNews.ie

17 Apr 2024 / legislation Print

Cabinet agrees to up knife-crime sentences

Cabinet approval has been given to amend legislation increasing sentences for a number of knife crimes.

The Anti-Social Behaviour Forum was established in 2020 and chaired by Minister of State James Browne. 

A sub group made recommendations to strengthen legislative powers to tackle knife-crime, which have been agreed following consultation with An Garda Síochána, the DPP, and the Irish Prison Service.

The subgroup’s recommendations are to increase the penalties of sections 9(5), 10, 11, and 12 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990.

  • Section 9(1): possession of a knife in a public place, to remain at a maximum penalty of five years,
  • Section 9(5): possession with intent to unlawfully cause injury, to increase maximum penalty of five years to seven years,
  • Section 10: trespassing with a knife, weapon of offence or other article, to increase maximum penalty of five years to seven years,
  • Section 11: production of an article capable of inflicting serious injury (to unlawfully intimidate another person), to increase maximum penalty of five years to seven years,
  • Section 12: the manufacture, importation, sale, hire or loan of offensive weapons, to increase maximum penalty of seven years to 10 years.

Garda statistics show the number of knives seized in each of the last five years:







Knives seized







Changes recommended in relation to Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) are:  

  • Minimum garda rank to apply for ASBO should be lowered from superintendent to inspector,
  • Review of legislation on the 30-day notification time limit for Anti-Social Behaviour Warnings (ASBW),
  • Garda training and guidance document for the use of ASBWs and ASBOs,
  • Additional education on ABWs and ASBOs for superintendents and inspectors,
  • The SARA (scanning, analysis, response, assessment) model should be implemented for tackling anti-social behaviour,
  • Youth diversion tactics, and
  • Exclusion orders under section 3 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 2003, should be applied for rather than ASBW for certain offences.
Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland