We looked previously at the law relating to ‘acid attacks’, an area about which there is a lot of public interest at the moment. It seemed to us that there were plenty of laws on the books to deal with people who carry out such attacks, but there was a possible argument to review the case of someone who intends to carry out such an attack but had not got that far, citing as an example those ‘those who are carrying acid around outside their house unlawfully‘.
On 14th October 2017, the Home Office published their consultation paper on this. It covers not only acid attacks, but will also tighten up the law relating to other weapons.
It’s worth reading the full consultation in full, but a summary is set out here :
- Making it an offence to sell products with certain corrosive substances to under 18s
- Making it an offence to possess corrosive substance in a public place.
- Creating offences to prevent knives sold online being delivered to a private residential address, and ensuring the age and identity of the purchaser are checked.
- Making it an offence to possess certain weapons in private (such as Zombie knives)
- Introducing an offence of having an article with blade or point or offensive weapon on education institutions other than schools.
- Amending the existing offences of threatening with an article with blade or point or offensive weapon (so as to include where the victim reasonably believes that it is likely to result in serious physical harm)
- Updating the definition of a flick knife so as to include any knife that has an automatic opening mechanism
As we said previously, there may be a gap in the law that this will fill, although some of the other changes would not appear to be particularly necessary (the threatening with a blade or offensive weapon would appear to be covered by existing legislation).
This is a consultation, so anyone who is interested should certainly consider putting in a response.