New anti-crime measures to tackle guns, knives and acid

A ban on the sale of dangerous acid to under-18s and tougher restrictions on online sales of knives are among the new plans by the Home Office to combat serious violence.

The plans form part of the government's Serious Violence Strategy, which will be announced on Monday, and target gun, knife and acid crime amid a surge of violence in the capital.

The new Offensive Weapons Bill will make it a criminal offence to have corrosive substances in a public place or possess weapons like zombie knives and knuckle-dusters in private.

The government will also consult the public on extending controversial stop and search powers as part of the bill, which the Home Office said will be brought forward within weeks.

What other planned measures will be brought in?

  • People will have to obtain a licence to acquire, possess and use sulphuric acid

  • Stopping knives being sent to residential addresses after they are bought online

  • Changing the legal definition for threatening with an offensive weapon to make prosecutions easier

  • Banning the possession of a knife on a further education premises

  • Banning rapid firing rifles, and certain powerful firearms and bump stocks, which increase a rifles' rate of fire

  • Updating the definition of a flick knife to reflect changing weapon designs

The legislation will include a minimum custodial sentence for those convicted of a second or subsequent offence of possession of a corrosive substance in a public place.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "I see no good reason why any young person should be carrying a corrosive substance in the street, so I am also announcing that we will consult on extending stop and search powers to include acid.

"Stop and search is a vital policing tool and officers will always have the Government's full support to use these powers properly."

What else is expected in the Serious Violence Strategy?

Amber Rudd will deliver the government's new strategy for tackling violent crime. Credit: PA

The Serious Violence Strategy will also target the rise of the role social media has played in driving violent crime.

The Home Secretary is expected to call on social media companies to do more to tackle gang material hosted on their sites and ban it from music and video hosted on the platforms.

The Home Secretary is also due to host a round-table for civic leaders, including the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Mayor of London, charities and organisations which campaign against serious violence ahead of the launch.