The Home Office has announced today that from next month new powers to tackle knife crime will be piloted by the Metropolitan Police.

Knife Crime Prevention Orders (KCPOs) were introduced through the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 and will give officers an additional tool to steer those most at risk away from violent crime.

The civil orders can be imposed by courts on any person aged 12 or over who police believe is regularly carrying a knife, or upon conviction of a knife-related offence. Legislation to pave the way for the launch of the pilot was laid in Parliament today.

The orders are intended to be preventative rather than punitive, to help people change their behaviour and avoid being drawn into knife crime.

Courts will be able to stop those under an order from associating with certain people, introduce geographical restrictions, and set curfews.

They will also include positive requirements such as attendance at educational courses, life skills programmes, participation in group sports, drug rehabilitation and anger management classes.

The pilot will run for 14 months from 6 April, with the intention to introduce the orders across all police forces, pending assessment after the pilot.