Home Secretary plans to ban knives and acid sale
MEASURES to ban the sale of acid to under-18s and knives to children online in Halton are among a series of legislative changes included in a public consultation on offensive weapons.
Home secretary Amber Rudd has unveiled the plans, which would also restrict access to dangerous firearms.
The proposals to be consulted include creating a new offence of possession of a corrosive substance in public.
The online sale of knives would also be restricted so they cannot be delivered to a private residential address and must be collected at a place where age ID can be checked.
Ms Rudd also revealed plans for a new strategy to improve public safety and prevent violent offending, which will be published in early 2018.
A Home Office spokesman said the new offence of possession of a corrosive substance in public without a good or lawful reason will place the onus on the individual caught in possession to explain why they were carrying it, rather than on the police to prove it was intended for use as a weapon.
The Poisons Act will also be reviewed with a view to including sulphuric acid on the list of restricted substances.
A recent Freedom Of Information request submitted by the Weekly News to Cheshire police showed there were two incidents in Widnes involving corrosive substances in both 2016 and 2017 so far.
Though none of the incidents involved acid, police confirmed the incidents recorded in the town included cleaning substances such as bleach.
The two incidents reported in 2016 were classed as assault with injury.
Both incidents so far in 2017 have been classed as assault without injury.
No crimes of this type had been recorded in Runcorn.
Other measures included in the consultation are amendments to threatening with a knife or offensive weapon offence to lower the standard of proof for prosecutors, and updating current legislation on the definition of flick knives.
The proposals would also move two firearms – .50 calibre and certain rapid firing rifles – from the general licensing arrangements to the stricter provisions of section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968