Tough new measures are to be put in place to deal with offensive weapons, the Home Secretary announced yesterday.
The Offensive Weapons Bill aims to make it harder for young people to buy knives and acid online.
Sellers will require rigorous age verification to prove those purchasing knives or corrosives are over 18.
Failure to do so will leave them liable for prosecution.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It is totally wrong that young people are able to get their hands on dangerous weapons such as knives and harmful acids.
“That is why we are making the laws around this even tighter.
I saw the great work our front line officers do to keep our communities safeHome Secretary Sajid Javid
“Earlier this week I saw the great work our front line officers do to keep our communities safe – and I am determined to do everything I can to help them keep weapons off our streets.”
The bill comes days after a seven-inch knife was found hidden behind a ticket machine at Worthing Railway Station.
So what will change with the new bill?
– a new criminal offence of selling – both online and offline – a corrosive product to a person under the age of 18.
– new offence of possessing a corrosive substance in a public place (without good reason)
– new offence banning sending bladed products and corrosive products sold online to a residential address. The offence for bladed products is limited to those that can cause serious injury and includes defences for made to order items and those for sporting and re-enactment purposes
– new criminal offences on delivery companies of delivering a bladed article or a corrosive product on behalf of a seller outside the United Kingdom to a person under 18
– ban on possession of flick knives and gravity knives (their sale is already illegal)
– ban on possession of certain weapons e.g. knuckledusters, zombie knives and death stars (their sale and importation is already illegal)
– ban on possession of a bladed article or offensive weapon on school premises to be extended to cover further education premises in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
– it prohibits high energy and rapid firing rifles and a device known as a ‘bump stock’ which increases the rate of fire of rifles and provides for compensation of owners
– a change to the legal test for threatening with an offensive weapon in England and Wales to aid prosecution
Have weapon possession offences gone up in Sussex?
Possession of weapons offences rose by 15 per cent in 2017, according to data from the Home Office.
The figures are based on police recorded crime.
There were 1,338 possession of weapons offences in Sussex last year.
Nationally offences in that category rose by 25 per cent in the year to December 2017.