05 July 2021
The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 introduced Knife Crime Prevention Orders ('KCPOs'), preventative civil orders, as an additional tool that the police will be able to use to work with young people and others to help steer them away from knife crime and serious violence.
Section 31 of the Act requires the provisions of Part 2 (KCPOs) to be piloted in one or more areas in England and Wales and for the Secretary of State to lay a report before Parliament on the operation of those provisions, before all the provisions of Part 2 may be brought fully into force in England and Wales.
The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 (Commencement No. 2) (England and Wales) Regulations 2021 bring Part 2 of the 2019 Act into force in the Metropolitan Police district only for a specified period of 14 months from 5th July 2021 ('the pilot period'). During the pilot period, KCPOs can only be made in the Metropolitan Police district but will be enforceable throughout England and Wales.
KCPOs which have effect immediately before the end of the pilot period may continue to have effect for a further period of 6 months (subject to earlier cessation under the 2019 Act).
The purpose of the pilot is to test and inform processes for the KCPOs. The pilot will provide useful data and feedback on the use and application of the KCPOs and how well the prohibitions and requirements have worked. The pilot will allow for a fuller understanding of the likely costs and impacts of the orders once they are introduced in England and Wales.