Knives: Crime

Home Office written question – answered on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions his Department has had with social media companies to encourage them to prevent the display of knife crimes on their platforms.

Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits on bringing forward legislative proposals for the regulation of social media platforms in relation to the removal of knife crime content.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

The Home Office chairs a Social Media Action Group which brings together Government, social media companies, police and community groups to discuss and take action against violence related content online.

We are also providing £1.4m to support a new national police capability to tackle gang related activity on social media. The new social media hub will be established within MPS, transforming the current capability and will take action against online material, focusing on investigative, disruption and enforcement work against specific gang targets, as well as making referrals to social media companies so illegal and harmful content can be taken down. It will be fully operational this spring.

We recognise though that more needs to be done to tackle online harms and we are committed to further legislation. A joint DCMS-Home Office White Paper will be published shortly. This will set out a range of legislative and non-legislative measures, detailing how we tackle online harms, setting clear responsibilities for technology firms to keep UK citizens safe.

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