The UK's leading researcher on gang-related gun crime has given an exclusive interview to The THES in which he calls for the UK to adopt deterrent sentencing pioneered in the US - after two girls were shot dead in Birmingham on new year's eve.
Nick Tilley, professor of sociology at Nottingham Trent University, is seconded to the Home Office's Crime Prevention Unit. He said research suggested that tough sentencing for possession of guns could be effective as part of a package of measures. In Boston, Massachusetts, this led to a drop of about 70 per cent in shooting homicides.
Professor Tilley said: "One man was sentenced to 19 years for the possession of a bullet. The message that carrying a weapon could carry with it a heavy sentence was actively promoted within the gang communities."