SCYJ has made a submission to the Home Office consultation on new weapons legislation, which proposes a number of new laws around knives and corrosive substances. We set out our views on these proposals as they affect children.
In principle we do not object to proposals B and C, which extend existing offences around possessing certain weapons in private and possessing offensive weapons in education institutions other than schools. However, we continue to oppose mandatory custodial sentences for children and would caution that criminal justice measures cannot prevent knife crime.
Proposal D introduces a more complicated test for the offence of threatening with a knife or offensive weapon, and greatly lowers the threshold for conviction. Given the severe penalty associated with a conviction (custody) SCYJ does not believe the change is justified.
Proposal G makes it an offence to possess a corrosive substance in a public place. SCYJ understands the serious concern around acid attacks, but believes the proposed legislation is unnecessary. If it is to be introduced, it needs significant amendments to satisfy the requirements of legal certainty and avoid unjust and unintended prosecutions.
You can read our submission here.