The Liberal Democrats have forced the Conservative Government to withdraw their amendments on controversial knife crime prevention orders.
Following the Home Secretary’s announcement last week of his intention to introduce ‘asbo style’ prevention orders, the Government intended to today amend the Offensive Weapons Bill at the House of Lords Grand Committee.
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson in the House of Lords, Brian Paddick, threatened to oppose these amendments forcing the Government to withdraw them due to the need at Grand Committee for unanimity.
Responding to the withdrawal, Brian Paddick said:
“ASBOs were jettisoned because they unnecessarily criminalised young people, were seen as a badge of honour in some communities and did little to prevent crime, but now the Conservatives want to resurrect them under a new guise.
“The Liberal Democrats are wholly opposed to Knife Crime Prevention Orders being imposed on children as young as 12 who haven’t been convicted of any crimes, where a minor breach can result in a criminal record and a prison sentence.
“There are not enough community police officers to patrol our streets, let alone enforce these orders. Instead of gimmicks that won’t work, the Government must urgently give forces the funding they need to restore community police and stop the rise of violent crime.”
The Government’s amendments to the Offensive Weapons Bill required unanimous agreement to be added to the Bill in Grand Committee in the House of Lords. Had the Government moved the amendments in the face of opposition from Liberal Democrat peers, they would have been defeated and unable to bring them again.
Following objections raised by Liberal Democrat Peer Brian Paddick in Grand Committee, the Government withdrew the amendments so that they can try move them again at a later stage.