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Courts to be able to impose knife crime orders, Home Office announces

UK News | Published:

The Government is under pressure to act on knife crime after a spate of vicious attacks on police officers and members of the public in recent days.

Knife

Courts will be given extra powers to tackle knife crime and serious violence, the Home Office has announced.

Knife crime prevention orders (KCPOs) are civil orders that can be imposed by courts on anybody aged 12 or over who police believe is carrying a knife.

The orders – part of the Offensive Weapons Act – were included in draft guidance published on Thursday.

Priti Patel
Priti Patel said the Government was cracking down on violent crime (Toby Melville/PA)

Courts will also be able to impose rules and curfews preventing association with certain people, and geographical restrictions.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “We are cracking down on violent crime, which has a devastating impact on victims, their families, and our communities.

“Our Offensive Weapons Act will help to stop acids and knives making their way onto our streets and being used to carry out horrifying attacks.”

The Government is under pressure to act on knife crime after a spate of vicious attacks on police officers and members of the public in recent days.

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On Thursday, Pc Andrew Harper of Thames Valley Police was killed while responding to a routine call in Berkshire.

Tributes to Andrew Harper
A police officer lays a floral tribute at the scene where Thames Valley Police officer Pc Andrew Harper died (Ben Birchall/PA)

His death comes after West Midlands Police officer Gareth Phillips was left in intensive care after he was run over responding to reports of a stolen car on August 10. 

Metropolitan Police officer Stuart Outten also received multiple stab wounds when he was attacked while on duty in Leyton, east London on August 8.

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Four people have died, including two teenagers, and another has been injured in stabbings around the country in the last seven days.

The court order announcement comes days after another Home Office knife crime prevention campaign was labelled “embarrassing” and “racist”.

Chicken shop boxes carrying #knifefree slogans were distributed to more than 210 outlets in England and Wales.

The boxes will replace standard packaging at independent and chain chicken shops including Chicken Cottage and Dixy Chicken.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott tweeted: “Instead of investing in a public health approach to violent crime, the Home Office have opted for yet another crude, offensive and probably expensive campaign.

“They would do better to invest in our communities not demonise them.”

Ms Patel took to Twitter to hit back at criticism, saying it was a “shame to see” Ms Abbott “playing politics with knife crime”, adding: “I will do everything in my power to stop it traumatising communities. I will not apologise for that.”

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