The courage of the Mizen family has been the most impressive example of human reason and the ability to be better and strive to improve society that I have come across in a long time.

I don't know what causes knife crime, I don't know why teenagers in London engage in awful violent assaults, I don't know why England has all kind of restrictions that don't stop this but the crime is not prevalent in Spain which does not. I know that in the 1960s they didn't know either. I believe the key must be that those who carry knives realise there are consequences – consequences for the lives they destroy and consequences for their families and themselves. It must be made completely unacceptable, completely stupid, to carry a knife, and then there must be a high chance of imprisonment for the serious gang members who still do it.

In my late teens I carried a large pen knife (that was not illegal prior to 1988 but was afterwards) because I thought it was a useful thing to do (I read lots of boys adventure stories after all), an exciting thing to do, possibly cool. It wasn't. A helpful police officer in Bristol warned me to lose the knife – I got rid of it and never carried one again, that warning keeping me out of the chance of future trouble without any criminal record.