Knife crime curfew plan for 12 year olds

Children as young as 12 could face curfews under Home Office plans to tackle knife crime.

Courts in England and Wales will get extra civil powers to tackle concerns about people suspected of carrying bladed weapons and serious violence.

The knife crime prevention orders (KCPOs) can be imposed by magistrate and youth courts on anyone who police believe is carrying a knife.

They were included in draft guidance as part of the Offensive Weapons Act.

Under the proposals, courts will also be able to impose geographical restrictions and prevent subjects aged 12 and over from meeting certain people.

Home Secretary Priti Patel 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.”

Priti Patel
Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced a series of knife crime prevention measures. Image copyright: PA Media

The Home Office says the courts “must be satisfied, on the balance of probabilities that the suspect has carried a knife on at least two occasions” and it is “necessary to make the order to protect the public generally, or particular persons from risk of physical or psychological harm”.

The court order announcement comes days after another Home Office knife crime prevention campaign was labelled “out of touch” and “racist”.

Chicken shop boxes carrying #knifefree slogans were distributed to more than 210 outlets in England and Wales.

More than 321,000 boxes will replace standard packaging at outlets including Chicken Cottage, Dixy Chicken and Morley’s, the Home Office said.

Real life stories of young people who chose positive activities over carrying a weapon are printed inside the boxes.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said the plan was “crude” and “offensive”.

However, Ms Patel defended the campaign, accusing Ms Abbott of “playing politics with knife crime”.

Main image copyright: Getty Images

First published 19.08.19: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49395029

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