, 20 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
1/ Sajid Javid has just announced ‘Knife Crime Prevention Orders’ (KCPO) which are a kind of asbo for children who (it sounds like) are suspected of *potentially* being involved in knife crime.

Should we be concerned? (THREAD) bbc.co.uk/news/uk-470644…
2/ Knife crime is a problem so any sensible measure which might prevent it is a good idea.

But is this sensible?

The devil is in the detail and there may be significant human rights issues as the orders are available for children and, as BBC report, include social media bans
3/ The detail is contained from page 16 to the amendments to the govt’s Offensive Weapons Bill publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill…
4/ Here’s the requirements for getting a KCPO - notice (this is important) this isn’t the criminal standard of proof. All you need to show is it’s more likely than not that a person had a bladed article with them twice in the past 2 years
5/ And if you can show that - which is much easier than showing someone has committed a crime (where a court has to be sure - beyond reasonable doubt) then there are a whole series of onerous requirements which the court can impose for up to two years including internet use
6/ Here are 4 concerns I have:

First, why do we need them? What exactly do they add to civil injunctions (formerly ASBOs) which allow for a wide range of prohibitions and have criminal consequences if breached. Available from 10 years old
7/ Civil injunctions are v wide in their application and surely being caught with a knife twice would come under conduct which "is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person"

Even if that provision didn't catch knife possession, it could be amended to do so.
8/ And there are gang injunctions (gov.uk/guidance/injun…) which are available for 14-17 year olds and would in many instances cover knife possession of the kind that I imagine these new orders will be used for
9/ My second concern is that this is just another in a long line of laws which chip away at the requirement for police to prove *beyond reasonable doubt* that a crime has taken place before a person can be punished by the state - including onerous restrictions on their lives
10/ Police already have:
✅Civil injunctions
✅Community Protection Notices
✅Criminal Behaviour Orders
✅Serious Crime Prevention Orders cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance…
✅Gang injunctions gov.uk/guidance/injun…
✅Sexual Offences Prevention Orders

A tangled and ever-expanding web!
11/ I have acted in gang injunction and serious crime prevention order cases and my experience (though others will have more) is that they are liberally applied for by police - why wouldn't they be?

So much easier to hit a suspect with one of these than a criminal charge
12/ And the bonus is that if you put onerous enough restrictions on a person (e.g. curfews, contact restrictions (including with family members), internet bans) then if they breach the order, you can get them sent to prison for up to two years.

As I said, easier than a charge.
13/ My worry is that this ever expanding (how many powers ever get taken away from police?) set of sub-criminal standard of proof tools means that the bar for criminalisation, with all the stigma and unintended consequences it brings with it, becomes ever-lower.
14/ A third concern.

As with any issues around children, there must be sufficient safeguards put in place to make sure their welfare is properly considered by courts. By developing yet another strand it adds confusion and complication to a delicate area
15/ 4th, I am concerned about the confusion that this will cause:

"using the internet to facilitate or encourage crime involving bladed articles"

How will judges (not the most internet-savvy) interpret?

There are obvious instances e.g. using WhatsApp to plan a knife attack...
16/ But what about e.g. artists who rap about violence?

Is that facilitating or encouraging crime involving bladed articles?

What about sharing a video by a famous Grime artist whose subject matter is knives?

There are significant free speech and right to privacy issues here
17/ And when you try and police the social media of children, it's getting into impossible territory and judges may just say: you can't use social media at all.

For 2 years.

How will that affect the private and family lives of children?
18/ We are just beginning to understand positive and negative effects that social media has on children.

e.g. they may use it to contact their gang mates but also their sister who lives elsewhere and is a positive influence. Or a gamer group which gives positive reinforcement.
19/ I'm worried about judges weighing into that sensitive debate and placing onerous restrictions which will have unintended consequences.

Anyway, I'm sure others have other concerns, but those are the ones which pop into my mind. Replies welcome.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Adam Wagner
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!