New powers to stem tide of knife crime
The Government has confirmed it is seeking to amend the Offensive Weapons Bill to introduce Knife Crime Prevention Orders.
The new orders can be imposed on any person aged 12 or over who is believed to be carrying a knife, is a habitual knife carrier, and on people previously convicted of a knife-related offence.
Breach of the order will be a criminal offence and can result in a prison term of two years if convicted.
They will also “restrict behaviour by placing curfews and geographical restrictions on individuals as well as limiting their social media use – preventing the rapid escalation of rival disputes”.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said today (Thursday, January 31) that it was “vital we continue to focus on improving the law enforcement response” to knife crime.
The new powers will be added to existing police powers, such as gang injunctions and criminal behaviour orders.
They also aim to “prevent vulnerable young people becoming involved in knife possession and knife crime”
Further action will also be taken against retailers who sell knives to children, with a new £500,000 prosecution fund to enable Trading Standards to secure the prosecution of offenders.
The next phase of the #Knifefree campaign, which aims to inspire young people to make positive life choices, will also launch this spring.
Mr Javid said: “I have been clear that I will do everything in my power to tackle the senseless violence that is traumatising communities and claiming too many young lives.
“The police already have a range of measures they are using to keep our streets safe, but there is more we can do to help them in this battle. I have listened to their calls and will be introducing these new orders to stop gang members carrying knives in the first place.
“It is vital we continue to focus on improving the law enforcement response while at the same time steering young people away from criminal activity in the first place.”