Knife Crime – Searching for Solutions
The Home Secretary will this week hold an urgent meeting with police chiefs to discuss the recent rise in knife crime. This follows another week of killings as figures show that the number of people aged 16 and under being stabbed rose by a shocking 93% from 2016 to 2018.
Channel 4 found that the number of police-recorded offenders aged under 18 committing homicides using a knife or sharp instrument rose by 77% from 2016 to 2018.
The Home Office has responded with a number of measures including an extra £970m for policing in 2019-2020. As is generally the case, the government is also proposing supposedly tough new legislation to deal with offenders caught with a knife. An amendment to the Offensive Weapons Bill, which is currently before parliament, proposes a new Knife Crime Prevention Order, or a ‘Knife Asbo’ as it is already being dubbed.
What is a Knife Crime Prevention Order?
It is proposed that anyone aged 12 or over can be subject to a Knife Crime Prevention Order (KCPO) if:
a) they are found to be carrying, without good reason, a bladed article in a publicplace (including a school) twice in a period of two years, and
b) the court believes it is necessary to impose and order to protect the public or
prevent the young person from committing a crime with a bladed article.
The KCPO can require that a person:
- is in a particular place on specified days or between particular times
- reports to a specified individual on specified days/times
- participates in specific activities.
It can also prohibit the person from:
- being in particular places
- being with particular people
- taking part in specified activities
- using or having specified articles with them
- using the internet to facilitate or encourage crimes using bladed articles.
A KCPO would last between six months and two years. Breach of the KCPO would result in:
a) on summary conviction, imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, a fine or to both;
b) on conviction on indictment, imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, a fine or to both.
Before making the application, if the defendant is under the age of 18, the relevant person must consult with the Youth Offending Team (YOT) for the area that the young person lives in.
Will these new orders work?
Many people, including the Magistrates’ Association, have expressed doubts as to whether these new orders will do anything to address the complex problems at the root of knife crime .
How Tuckers Solicitors can help you…
To discuss anything to do with knife crime please contact us on 020 7388 8333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly assist.
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