Knife crime prevention orders
Earlier this year, Channel 4 found, after analysing Freedom of Information request responses from 29 out of 43 police forces, that the number of police-recorded offenders aged under 18 committing homicides using a knife or sharp instrument rose by 77% from 26 to 46 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 has proposing supposedly tough new legislation to deal with offenders caught with a knife. This legislation is now on the statute book and you can read more here.
This includes a new Knife Crime Prevention Order, or a ‘Knife Asbo’, as it is already being called.
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 if:
- they are found to be carrying, without good reason, a bladed article in a public place (including a school) twice in a period of two years, and
- 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.
Applications for knife protection orders can only be made by chief police officers, or the chief constable of the British Transport Police or the Ministry of Defence Police.
Before making the application, if the defendant is under the age of 18, the relevant person must consult with the Youth Offending Team for the area that the young person lives in.
The Knife Crime Prevention Order 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 and 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 Knife crime prevention order would last between six months and two years. Breach of the order would result in:
- on summary conviction, imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, a fine or to both
- on conviction on indictment, imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, a fine or to both
Will knife crime prevention orders work?
A great many people, including the Magistrates’ Association, have expressed doubts as to whether these new orders will do anything to address the complex root problems of offending.
Instruct a criminal law specialist
The lawyers at VHS Fletchers continuously monitor new develops in criminal law, as even government proposals can sometimes trigger changes in judicial behaviour when it comes to bail and sentencing. It is our job to ensure the law that is in force now is appropriately applied.
We also play a vital role in challenging the boundaries of new legislation and will be keeping a close watch on these draconian knife crime prevention orders to ensure that justice is appropriately done in all cases.
If you are arrested or know that the police wish to speak to you about any offending involving a weapon then make sure you insist on your right to free and independent legal advice. The courts will always take such offences seriously upon conviction.
If you have already been interviewed or face court proceedings we can still make a real difference to the outcome of your case.
We have offices across the East Midlands and will happily travel across the country to provide representation for all football related offences.
Alternatively you can contact us using the form below.