Home Secretary announces new police powers to deal with knife crime

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The Home Secretary is radically stepping up the government’s response to knife crime and will be introducing new orders to prevent criminals carrying blades.

As part of decisive action to enhance police powers, the government will seek to amend the Offensive Weapons Bill to introduce Knife Crime Prevention Orders.

This new deterrent can be imposed on any person aged 12 or over to prevent vulnerable young people from becoming involved in knife possession and knife crime.

It can be imposed on anyone who police believe is carrying a knife, are habitual knife carriers or people previously convicted of a knife related offence.

This fills a gap which is not covered by existing preventative orders such as gang injunctions and criminal behaviour orders.

The new civil orders 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.

To ensure compliance with these restrictions, breach of the order will be a criminal offence and the holder can be sent to prison for two years if convicted.

The Home Secretary will also be taking further action against retailers found to be selling knives to children. A new £500,000 prosecution fund will help Trading Standards teams to secure the prosecution of retailers who repeatedly sell knives to under 18s.

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