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Thursday 5th of December 2019

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Will Children’s Rights Be Attacked In An Attempt To Reduce Knife Crime?

Tuesday 26th of February 2019 | Europe, United Kingdom
rightsinfo.org
News

Knife crime in the capital has never felt more of a pressing issue. Last year, a record number of deaths weighed heavily, as one particularly sombre week of violence claimed the lives of five young people. In an attempt to reduce knife crime, the government has proposed amendments to the Offensive Weapons Bill, but critics say these amendments may overlook the human rights of children.

In a letter to the Home Office, the Joint Committee on Human Rights have outlined their concerns that proposed amendments may criminalise children “not for carrying a knife (which is already against the law) but for breaching requirements which could be imposed in ways which prevent them from living a normal life”.

The changes would allow police to place asbo-like orders on children aged 12 or over that they suspect to be involved with knife crime, but no hard evidence will be needed in an amendment the Committee has called “a balance of probabilities, rather than the criminal standard of proof”.

If young people break the restrictions of their orders, they may be imprisoned for a maximum of two years, including those aged 12 and over.

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  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO). Belgian Public Utility Foundation

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  • Head Office: Rue Mercelis, nº 50. 1050. Brussels. Belgium

    Phone: 00 32 262 988 90. Fax: 00 32 262 988 99. oijj@oijj.org

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