Offensive Weapons: Sales

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 26th February 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Chair, Work and Pensions Committee, Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the oral contribution by the Minister for Safeguarding and Vulnerability to the Offensive Weapons Bill Committee on 11 September 2018, Column 280, what policy proposals he is discussing with the Home Secretary on preventing the sale of illegal knives on online platforms.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State

The Government is committed to delivering on the people’s priorities by tackling violent crime, including through the Offensive Weapons Act which received Royal Assent on 16 May 2019.

In addition, the Government published the initial response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation on 12 February 2020. This is a joint Home Office and DCMS publication that summarises themes from the 2019 consultation.

The interim response confirmed that the Government is developing legislation on online harms to establish a new duty of care on online companies towards their users, overseen by an independent regulator. This will ensure companies take action to address harmful behaviour online, including the sale of weapons and other illegal goods and services. The regulator will issue codes of practice on what companies need to do to fulfil their duty of care. The regulator will work with law enforcement regarding expectations relating to illegal content and behaviour to ensure they adequately keep pace with the threat.

We will set out our final policy position on this issue in a full Government response later this year, before moving to legislation.

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