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Knife Crime Prevention Orders to be piloted in London

MA Comment


06 March 2020
Knife Crime Prevention Orders to be piloted in London

The Home Office has announced that legislation has been laid in parliament to pilot knife crime prevention orders, first introduced by the Offensive Weapons Act 2019. The pilot will take place in London and will run for 14 months, begining on 6 April 2020.

The civil orders can be imposed by courts on anyone aged 12 or over if they are believed by the police to be carrying a knife. The orders can contain both restrictions and requirements eg the individual may not be able to visit a particular place or mix with specific individuals, or they might be required to attend anger management or drug rehabilitation classes.

Linda Logan, chair of the Magistrates Association's Youth Court Committee, said:

'These orders have been introduced without proper consultation or a firm evidence base to rely on, so it is impossible to know whether they are what is needed to deal with the current problems. These pilots must therefore be a genuine test of whether they have any positive effect. If not, then they should not be rolled out further.

'We are particularly concerned that their use may worsen existing overrepresentation of black, Asian and minority ethnic young people in the justice system and this issue must therefore be at the heart of the evaluation of the pilot.'

 

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