Knife crime prevention orders are being trialled in parts of London. These can be imposed on individuals as young as 12, even if they have not been convicted of an offence. Breaching an order can result in up to two years’ imprisonment.
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Knife crime prevention orders – London’s pilot scheme
A pilot scheme was implemented on 5 July 2021, allowing the courts to issue knife crime prevention orders in certain parts of London. The intention of these orders is to prevent young people from carrying knives and becoming embroiled in serious violence.
Knife crime prevention orders can be issued in one of two ways. Either, they can be issued by the courts after a defendant has been found guilty of a criminal offence. Or, they can be issued by the courts following an application by the police. In the latter situation, the individual does not have to be convicted of an offence.
Currently, the pilot scheme is limited to the metropolitan police district. This consists of Greater London, excluding the City of London, the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple. It will run for 14 months, although the government has said it intends to enforce the provisions nationwide once the pilot scheme comes to an end.
Knife crime prevention orders with no conviction
Under the pilot scheme, police in certain areas can apply to the court for a knife crime prevention order. The court will grant this order if:
- It is satisfied that at least on two occasions, the defendant had a bladed article with them without good reason or lawful authority in a public place or school or further education premises;
- It thinks it is necessary to make the order to protect the public from the risk of harm involving a bladed article, to protect any particular members of the public or to prevent the defendant from committing an offence with a bladed article.
Knife crime prevention order with a conviction
Knife crime prevention orders can also be issued if a person over the age of 12 is convicted of an offence. This offence must include the use or possession of a bladed article.
What does a knife crime prevention order do?
A knife crime prevention order can restrict who you see and where you go. The court will tailor the order according to the specific circumstances. You could be prohibited from meeting with named individuals, travelling to certain zones and participating in particular activities. It can also require you to attend drug rehabilitation programmes, educational courses and relationship counselling.
A knife crime prevention order can last for between six months and two years. It must be reviewed if the order lasts longer than a year.
Breaching a knife crime prevention order has a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment.
Speak to our criminal defence solicitors
It is possible to appeal against the making of a knife crime prevention order. If you ask us to represent you, we will oppose any such orders, ensuring you are not subject to unnecessary restrictions. This is particularly important given that breaching a knife crime prevention order can result in imprisonment.
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