Artificial Intelligence: Crime Prevention

Home Office written question – answered at on 25 September 2023.

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Photo of Andrea Jenkyns Andrea Jenkyns Conservative, Morley and Outwood

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to use artificial intelligence to help (a) predict and (b) prevent violent attacks involving (i) machetes and (ii) zombie knives.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

The Home Office is working across government and with operational partners to develop our understanding of the threats and opportunities presented by artificial intelligence. The Home Office has already convened and will be convening further meetings to identify the best opportunities to use artificial intelligence to prevent and detect crime of various types. The use of artificial intelligence to predict and prevent serious violence is an operational matter for Chief Constables.

Knife crime is below its pre-pandemic level and the Home Office is investing over £110m to tackle serious violence in 2023/24. This includes:

  • Violence Reduction Units and hotspot policing in the 20 areas worst affected by serious violence;
  • A Serious Violence Duty which legally requires specified agencies to work together to reduce serious violence locally;
  • Piloting Serious Violence Reduction Orders to give the police the power to stop and search adults already convicted of knife or offensive weapons offences; and
  • The Homicide Prevention Fund to help national policing organisations and local forces trial new initiatives and approaches.

We are also banning certain types of large knives (such as zombie style knives and machetes), giving the police more powers to seize dangerous weapons, creating a new offence of possession of a bladed weapon with an intent to harm, and increasing sentences for those who import, manufacture or sell dangerous weapons to under 18s.

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