NSW launches knife crime sentence review

Jail terms for gun and knife crimes will be reviewed as part of an independent, wide-ranging probe into weapons offences in NSW.

The NSW Sentencing Council, the state's independent advisory body on sentencing matters and sentencing trends, will analyse cases over the past five years and recommend changes including to maximum penalties and standard non-parole periods.

Such a comprehensive weapons review had never been undertaken in NSW by the Sentencing Council, Attorney-General Mark Speakman said

"A limited review of firearms offences was last undertaken by the council in 2004, and some knife offences have never been reviewed," he said in a statement.

"In requesting this review, I want to make sure that sentencing laws relating to possession and use of firearms, knives and other weapons remain in line with community expectations and that law enforcement agencies have access to the tools they need to keep our streets safe."

The council will be allowed to consider the appropriateness of penalty notices for certain offences and whether any summary offences should be considered serious offences worthy of jury trials.

Standard non-parole periods and maximum penalties will also be examined, as well as any other matter the council sees relevant.

The 16-member council is led by retired Supreme Court judge Peter McClellan KC and includes former police assistant commissioner Scott Cook, Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT boss Karly Warner, advocates for victims of crime, academics and state prison chief Peter Severin.