he Liberal Democrats will today vote against the Government’s controversial knife crime prevention orders.
Ministers have tabled amendments to the Offensive Weapons Bill in the House of Lords that would introduce the orders.
However, the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson in the Lords, Brian Paddick, objected to them at Committee Stage, meaning they have to be voted on at Report Stage today (26th Feb).
Ahead of the vote, Brian Paddick said:
“ASBOs were abandoned because they needlessly criminalised young people and knife crime prevention orders will be no different. They will not solve the rising knife crime epidemic on our streets and it is wholly unreasonable for the Conservatives to try and resurrect ASBOs under a new guise.
“Theresa May was right to reject ASBOs as gimmicks, and the Conservative Government must learn from the mistakes of the past. We have been clear in our opposition to these orders and will continue fighting to force the Government to think again.
“The victims of knife crime and their families deserve better. There are not enough community police officers to patrol our streets, let alone enforce these orders.
"The Liberal Democrats would recruit more officers and invest in a proper public health approach that brings together youth services, community groups, schools and the NHS to tackle this shocking rise in 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 to force them to move them again at a later stage.