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Tougher Knife Crime Laws

The UK Government has announced its intention to consult on new offences to toughen up knife crime laws in England and Wales.

The proposed new action would restrict the online sale of knives and ban possession of dangerous or offensive weapons on private property.

The proposals aim to tighten the law in order to stop under-18s being able to purchase knives and would mean that anyone who bought a knife online would be required to collect it in person, with retailers responsible for checking the age of all buyers.

It is already an offence to sell knives to under-18 year olds. The new offences would mean knives could no longer be delivered to private property, making it harder for underage sales to go undetected.

Banning the possession of outlawed weapons - such as zombie knives, knuckledusters and ‘throwing stars’ - on private property would mean police were able to seize them and make arrests. The proposal comes after police called for more powers to take action if they find such weapons in someone’s home.

The consultation will also seek views on whether the offence of possessing a knife in a public place and school premises should be extended to also include the grounds of other educational establishments, such higher education institutions.

Recorded police crime figures, from the Office for National Statistics, for the year ending December 2016 show more than 32,000 knife crime offences took place, a 14% increase on the previous year.

Although some of the increase is down to improved police recording practices, it may also represent a real increase in some areas of the country.

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Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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