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MA response on Serious Violence Reduction Orders


11 November 2020
MA response on Serious Violence Reduction Orders

The MA has responded to the Home Office consultation on Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs). The consultation sought views on the proposed introduction of the orders, which would give the police powers to search those already convicted of certain knife offences without specific reason.

The MA response made the following points:

  • The MA does not agree with the proposal to create a new court order, as the existing police powers are proportionate and appropriate. The MA is not aware of any evidence illustrating that the increased use of stop and search will be effective in reducing crime, although there is some evidence that targeting prolific offenders may be the best way to maximise the effectiveness of stop and search practices.
  • For the police to be able to stop and search someone without evidence, intelligence or in response to concerns about specific behaviour is a very invasive power, which should be limited to a specific aim in order to ensure it is necessary and proportionate, as is required under human rights law.
  • If introduced, SVROs should not be made automatically, but the court should have discretion to order them only when they consider it to be necessary and proportionate.
  • If introduced, an additional limitation should be added to SVROs so that they can only ever be used on prolific, repeat offenders who have been involved in relevant criminal behaviour within a set time period.
  • The MA raised concerns around disproportionality, as the use of stop and search where a police officer is responding to previous actions is likely to be seen as arbitrary, and if BAME people were to be disproportionately likely to receive an SRVO, this would lead to increased disproportionate use of police powers against this cohort.

 

The full MA response can be found here.

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