Children as young as 12 could be given ASBO-style orders in bid to tackle knife crime

The proposals could also be imposed on people with prior convictions for knife-related offences.
The proposals could also be imposed on people with prior convictions for knife-related offences.

New Knife Crime Prevention Orders could be issued by police to children as young as 12 who are believed to often carry a blade.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid unveiled the preventative measures that are designed to steer young people away from becoming involved in criminal activity.

Knife Crime Prevention Orders could be issued to anyone aged 12 or over who is believed by police to routinely carry a blade.

The ASBO-style orders would give police more power to impose curfews, send young people caught with knives to educational courses and in some cases restrict their social media use to prevent rival disputes escalating rapidly.

The proposals could also be imposed on people with prior convictions for knife-related offences.

Although they are civil orders, any breaches of them will be a criminal offence that could result in up to two years in prison upon conviction.

The new civil orders give police the power to place curfews on children over 12, limit their social media use, put geographical restrictions and encourage young people to attend education classes about the risks of carrying a knife.

Mark Burns-Williamson, chairman of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, backed the new orders but warned legislation alone “will not stop the rising tide of serious violence."

Ministers have come under sustained pressure over knife crime following a surge in serious violence, including fatal stabbings.

The Government will seek to amend the Offensive Weapons Bill to introduce the Knife Crime Prevention Orders.