Proposals for ban on machetes and harsher sentences to be progressed
The Home Office has today announced it will be progressing a number of changes to knife crime legislation proposed in consultation with the NPCC Knife Crime Working Group. Proposals include:
A ban on certain types of machetes and knives which seem to have no practical use and seem to be designed to look menacing and suitable for combat.
A new police power to seize, retain and destroy lawfully held bladed articles in private premises – this power can be applied only if the police are in the property lawfully already, and have reasonable grounds to believe that the article is to be used in serious crime or serious violence.
Increasing the maximum penalty for the offences of importation, manufacture, sale and general supply of prohibited and dangerous weapons and sale of knives to persons under 18 years old, to 2 years.
The Sentencing Council to consider amending the Sentencing Guidelines relating to possession of bladed articles and offensive weapons so that possession of a prohibited weapon is treated more seriously than possession of a non-prohibited weapon.
The introduction of a new possession offence of bladed articles with the intention to endanger life or to cause fear of violence.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Knife Crime Lead, Commander Stephen Clayman, said:
“The proposals in the consultation followed extensive collaboration between the Home Office and the NPCC National Knife Crime working group. Together, we worked to develop practical, sustainable solutions to remove these lethal weapons from our streets.
“These five proposals will all offer additional robust measures to deal with those who seek to use knives for violence. Ultimately, when used appropriately, they provide a greater means to protect the public and safeguard our communities.
“Every day as police officers we see first-hand the devastating effects of these deadly weapons on the lives of individuals, particularly young people and we must always look at what action can be taken to prevent access to knives that are used for violence, intimidation and harm.
“We look forward to working with Government on the next steps for making these proposals a reality, strengthening our fight against knife crime.”