Offensive Weapons Bill
Proposed Age Restrictions on the Sale of Knives – The Offensive Weapons Bill
According to knife crime statistics published by the House of Commons in November 2018, over 40,000 offences involving knives or sharp instruments were reported to the UK police between March 2017-2018. In London alone there were nearly 15,000 knife offences in the same period. The rapid growth of knife crime across the country has shocked the public, and prompted the government to propose the Offensive Weapons Bill 2018.
Proposed Age Restrictions in New Bill
The sale of blades and sharp instruments to people under the age of 18 is already illegal, on and offline. The Offensive Weapons Bill 2018 makes it a criminal offence to dispatch weapons bought online to residential addresses. This forces buyers to collect their purchase in person, and is designed to counteract the practice of underage consumers using an online proxy to purchase weapons.
The Bill will also make it an offence for UK delivery companies to dispatch blades or knives on behalf of sellers based outside the UK, to underage buyers. Once again, the focus is on making it harder for young people to side-step online age verification checks. The onus is clearly being placed on retailers and distributors for ensuring that knives don’t end up in the hands of young people under the legal age of 18.
The Progress of the Offensive Weapon Bill 2018
The Bill was first introduced to parliament in April 2018, and it received its first reading in the House of Commons in June. Has now received it’s third reading, and has been passed on to the House of Lords where it received its first reading at the end of November. It is expected that the Bill will pass into law at some point in 2019.
AgeChecked Software for Effective Online Age Verification
Online verification helps online retailers to sell knives and blades legally, by providing easy-to-use, streamlined age verification. At AgeChecked we have consulted with online sellers, to ensure that our age verification product serves the needs of both sellers and online buyers. We are able to offer a range of applications including API integration, batch checks and self verification.
Global Age Verification
It’s in all our interests to stem the illegal online sales of knives and sharp objects. AgeChecked is a specialist supplier of age verification solutions. Our products are trusted by a global network of online retailers, all of whom want to maintain the safety and integrity of online sales.