MORE than a third of repeat knife offenders in West Yorkshire were spared an immediate jail sentence last year, figures show.

Ministry of Justice data reveals 164 repeat knife offenders aged over 18 in West Yorkshire went through the criminal justice system in the year ending September 2023.

According to the figures, 163 were found in possession of a knife, while the other one was convicted of threatening offences.

Of those, 37 per cent avoided immediate custody and were only cautioned or given a community or a suspended sentence instead. 

Nationally, 4,127 adults were found guilty of a repeat possession offence.

Of them, 62 per cent were sent to jail immediately – a significant fall from 71 per cent in 2018.

In 2015, the 'two-strike' rule was introduced, which promised adults convicted of carrying knives would face an automatic six-month prison sentence after their second conviction.

But Patrick Green, chief executive of the Ben Kinsella Trust - which campaigns against knife crime - said victims are left "feeling like they haven't received the justice they deserve".

A Government spokesperson said: "While sentencing is for independent courts, our latest figures show more knife-carrying criminals are being sent to jail and for longer than a decade ago."