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Stopping serious violence is a priority for the government and we are determined to take effective action to protect the public. Police recorded violent crime has increased since 2014 and in the 12 months period ending March 2017, violent crime recorded by the police increased by 18 percent.
The Office for National Statistics have said some of this increase can be attributed to:
- improvements in how police forces record crime
- more victims of domestic violence being willing to come forward to the police
- the creation of new offences and greater awareness of these crimes
However, some of the increases in certain types of violent crime are thought to be genuine, including rises in offences involving knives and firearms.
The government has already been taking significant action including:
supporting police enforcement action through ‘Operation Sceptre’ - an ongoing series of weeks of intensified action on knife crime, including:
- targeted stop and searches
- targeting habitual knife carriers
- weapon sweeps
- test purchases of knives from retailers
- surrender bins
- legislating where necessary (for example banning zombie knives in August 2016)
- working with retailers to enforce sales restrictions
- working on prevention through engaging with young people through voluntary sector groups. This was set out in the government’s Modern Crime Prevention Strategy, published in March 2016.
an action plan to stop the use of acid and other corrosives in violent attacks which is based on:
- support for victims and survivors
- effective law enforcement
- ensuring legislation is applied effectively
- working with retailers to restrict access to acid and other corrosive substances of concern
It is vital that we ensure we do all we can to prevent these horrendous attacks from happening in the first place.
- tightening up the legislative framework on firearms including new offences in the Policing and Crime Act 2017.
We have now identified the need for new primary legislation to respond to public concerns and provide the police with the powers they need. The consultation paper seeks views on the legislative proposals on offensive and dangerous weapons.
The consultation is open to views from across the United Kingdom. It covers proposals that will apply in England and Wales but also extends to Scotland for certain proposals where indicated. We will work closely with the devolved administration in Northern Ireland on how any proposals might apply in Northern Ireland.