Children face curfews as Home Office attempts to tackle knife crime

Wiseman Admin2019, Criminal LawLeave a Comment

Children aged 12 and over could face curfews as the Home Office attempts to tackle knife crime in England and Wales.

Courts will receive additional civil powers to deal with individuals who are suspected of serious violence and carrying bladed weapons.

Knife Crime Prevention Orders (KCPOs) can be imposed by both magistrate and youth courts on individuals who the police believe is carrying a knife. The KCPOs were included in draft guidance as a part of the Offensive Weapons Act.

The scheme has been criticised by some, with Baroness Lawrence saying that there are better ways to deal with knife crime than criminalising children.

Gracie Bradley, Policy and Campaigns Manager for Liberty, said: “They (young people) will then be criminalised if they fail to comply with these arbitrary restrictions on their liberty. This approach makes a mockery of the rule that we are all innocent until proven guilty, and will see young people fast-tracked into the criminal justice system.”

The proposals will allow courts to impose geographical restrictions as well as preventing individuals aged 12 and above from meeting certain people.

The court order follows a campaign launched by the Home Office that has seen “#knifefree” slogans replace standard packaging at more than 210 chicken shops, with more than 300,000 of the boxes being distributed.

Priti Patel, Home Secretary, said: “We are cracking down on violent crime, which has a devastating impact on victims, their families, and our communities.

“Our Offensive Weapons Act will help to stop acids and knives making their way onto our streets and being used to carry out horrifying attacks.”

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