17 May 2019
THE county’s police commissioner has welcomed new powers that should make it easier to tackle knife crime.
The Offensive Weapons Act became law yesterday, introducing a new knife crime prevention order.
The orders, which will initially be trialled in London, will give police extra powers to seize knives and dangerous weapons.
The act bans the sale of corrosive products like acid to under-18s and makes it an offence to have in one’s possession corrosive substances in a public place.
Welcoming the new laws, Wiltshire and Swindon police and crime commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “Anything the government can do to support police forces in their bid to tackle violent crime has to be a good thing.
“I have spoken extensively about the issues around knife crime and the need for a multi-agency approach to help draw young people away from criminality and provide them with the support and opportunities they need to keep them on the straight and narrow.
“I am very clear that prevention is better than cure when it comes to young people getting involved in knife crime.
“It is also important to point out that although knife crime is a significant issue nationally, we have actually seen these types of incidents drop by 18 per cent over the past year, and Wiltshire and Swindon remains a very safe place to live and work.”
There have been growing fears nationally this year about rising knife violence.
Figures published in April showed police last year logged 40,829 offences involving knives or sharp instruments in 2018, up six per cent on the year before.
Sajid Javid, Home Secretary, said yesterday: “These new laws will give police extra powers to seize dangerous weapons and ensure knives are less likely to make their way onto the streets in the first place.”