Delyn MP David Hanson has welcomed a range of tough new powers to tackle alcohol-fuelled disorder, knife and gun crime, including realistic imitation firearms and air weapons.
The new violent crime measures form part of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 and include:
· An offence to manufacture, import or sell realistic imitation guns;
· An offence to sell an imitation gun to a person aged under 18;
· An offence to modify an imitation gun to make it realistic or convertible into a real firearm;
· A doubling of the maximum sentence for carrying an imitation gun in public without reasonable excuse, from 6 to 12 months.
· Air weapons sold only by firearms dealers who are registered by police with all sales taking place face-to-face;
· Increasing the age limit for buying or possessing an air weapon from 17 to 18. Also, an offence to sell, hire or make a gift of an air weapon to a person under the age of 18;
· An offence for any person to fire an air weapon beyond the boundary of any premises;
· An offence to sell a knife to a person aged under 18 (increased from 16).
David Hanson said:
“These new laws, which come into force on Monday, give North Wales Police more powers to tackle some of the most serious forms of crime and send a very strong signal that weapons on our streets will not be tolerated.
“I am pleased that the Government is taking action to prevent young people, who are often amongst the most vulnerable in society, from getting hold of knifes by raising the age from 16 to 18.
“It is important to recognise that gun crime is a problem in a few areas around the country and the Government is focusing its efforts in neighbourhoods within London, Liverpool, Greater Manchester and Birmingham overseen by a new Ministerial Taskforce and a new dedicated national unit, the Tackling Gangs Action Programme Team. These areas account for over half of all firearms offences in England and Wales.
“These new powers are the latest example of how the Government is working to make all communities safer, putting the interests of law-abiding people at the heart of our crime prevention action plans.”