Pearl-clutchers in the UK are aghast that people under 18 might possibly buy a knife through the mail – as opposed to grabbing one from a kitchen drawer. This is their response to the ever increasing rate of knife related crime across the country.
The delivery of knives bought online to private addresses is to be banned under a package of measures to tackle knife crime to be announced by the home secretary, Amber Rudd.
Knives bought online will in future have to be collected in person, with retailers responsible for checking that all buyers are 18 or older. New powers are also proposed for the police to seize banned weapons such as zombie knives, knuckledusters and throwing stars if they are found in someone’s home, and to arrest those involved.
The proposed new knife crime offences are to be subject to a consultation this autumn. They follow a Guardian investigation that found it was possible for teenagers to order age-restricted flick knives online and have them delivered to a private address without an age verification check.
Rudd’s announcement of further action to tackle knife crime comes in advance of publication of the lastest quarterly crime figures on Thursday, which are expected to show a further rise in knife crime.
There were more than 32,000 knife crime offences in England and Wales in 2016, 14% more than in the previous year. There were more than 4,000 hospital admissions for assaults involving a knife in England in the 12 months to March 2016, with 771 of those injured under the age of 19.