Amendment 88

Part of Offensive Weapons Bill - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 4th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Lucas Lord Lucas Conservative 4:15 pm, 4th March 2019

My Lords, I entirely accept the strictures that the Minister has discussed concerning the wording and theme of my amendment but, as has been shown in this discussion, its substance remains. If we allow the Bill through as it is, it will quickly become known that there are one or two sites, not far away, across a little bit of water, to which anyone with criminal intent can go in complete safety, buy any knife they want, and have it delivered to them at home. Therefore, anyone intent on getting a knife for criminal purposes will be able to do so with total disregard for the rest of the Bill. All we will have succeeded in doing is disadvantaging British sellers; the Bill will have no other effect.

We do not need to achieve perfection; we just need to make dangerous the process of illegally ordering a knife overseas, or of ordering a knife overseas and having it delivered to someone underage. We need to make it something that might well go wrong: either the knife might be confiscated, or the people involved in selling it—who presumably have a lot of legitimate business as well as supplying to criminals—might lose everything through being put on the Home Office blacklist. As has been suggested by several noble Lords, this is proving an effective system in pornography. Those we allow to dominate the market in the UK, because they do proper age-verification, want to keep others out, so they become an effective police force that we do not have to pay for. There are other routes to getting there, which make the whole business of buying from an overseas supplier more difficult and chancy.

If we want an effective Bill—I join the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy, in saying that we absolutely do—we must urge the Government to use the time between Report and Third Reading to talk to their colleagues in DCMS and look again at whether this is a loophole they can close. Without that, we will have a Bill that is much less effective at achieving what we want it to achieve. But I beg leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment 88 withdrawn.

Clause 23: Prohibition on the possession of certain dangerous knives