Offence of threatening with an offensive weapon etc in a private place

Part of Offensive Weapons Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:15 pm on 28th November 2018.

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Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women 4:15 pm, 28th November 2018

We are indeed introducing a blanket ban on the delivery of bladed products to homes, first because we know that test purchases online have not led to the sort of results that we have seen with retailers. We wanted to close that gap and make it clear to online retailers, some of which do not seem to understand that they currently are not allowed to sell bladed products to under-18s and should have robust measures in place to ensure that they do not. The Bill seeks to re-emphasise that, but we also want to ensure that the person picking up the knife has to go to a post office, delivery depot or local shop with such arrangements and show identification to establish that they are over 18. That is the purpose behind those measures.

We do not currently have evidence of the rate of shoplifting of knives by young people who go on to use them in crimes. That is part of the problem. As a first step, my officials are working with retailers to come up with a much stronger voluntary response, which we know retailers are responding to well, because, in fairness, the voluntary commitments have been working well.