Home Office written question – answered on 20th February 2023.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 for preventing the (a) sale and (b) possession of zombie knives.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many zombie knives have been confiscated under the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 since the commencement of that Act.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to announce which weapons will be included in the consultation on the Offensive Weapons Act 2019.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to begin the consultation on the Offensive Weapons Act 2019; and for how long the consultation will be open.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to allow (a) hon. Members, (b) Police and Crime Commissioners, (c) Chief Constables, (d) charities and (e) the public to participate in the consultation on the Offensive Weapons Act 2019.
The manufacture, importation and sale of Zombie knives was prohibited by The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) (Amendment) Order 2016, in England and Wales. The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 widened the offence to include the possession in private of zombie knives and other specified offensive weapons and extended the prohibition to Northern Ireland.
As part of the measures of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 we ran a surrender and compensation scheme, 14,965 offensive weapons were surrendered including 224 zombie type knives.
We are not planning to carry out an assessment of the effectiveness of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019, however we keep all legislation under review in the interests of public safety and will update Parliament if there are specific changes the Government has in mind.
We are working closely with the police to see what more we can do to address the criminal use of large knives and machetes. Any future public consultation will be notified to parliament and published on .GOV and the scope of any items under consideration will be laid out in the consultation document. Public consultations are open to practitioners, stakeholders and members of the public.
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