The Government are set to introduce new powers to control suspects thought to be involved in knife crime in a bid to tackle the growing violent crime figures in the UK.
The Knife Crime Prevention Orders would impose a number of sanctions against anyone in England and Wales over the age of 12 who is linked to knife crime – even if they are not caught physically carrying a blade.
According to figures released earlier this month, possession of knives has increased by almost a third in five years, and a fifth of offences for possession or threatening with a knife in the year to June involved 10 to 17-year-old children.
The House of Lords is being asked to approve the proposed Knife Crime Prevention Orders as part of the government’s Offensive Weapons Bills.
Police will go to court with intelligence based on an individual’s involvement with knife crime and if the court is convinced they can impose sanctions including:
– Setting a curfew to keep the suspect off the streets and out of specific gang hangouts
– Requiring them to attend special knife awareness courses
– Banning the subject from using social media in a bid to stir up trouble
– Banning them from associating with other people they consider to be gang members
The orders can also be given to someone convicted of carrying a knife in a big to attempt to stop them from returning to their old ways.
Breaching an order will be classed as a criminal offence and will be punishable by up to two years in prison.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the proposed power filled a gap in the law alongside existing crimes for carrying a knife and taking a knife into school. He believes this would help police target knife-carriers more effectively.
Mr Javid said: “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.”