Pilot areas for offensive weapons homicide reviews announced

London, West Midlands and Wales to pilot new requirement to help prevent homicides caused by offensive weapons such as knives and guns

London, West Midlands and Wales will be the first regions to trial a collaborative new approach to prevent future deaths involving offensive weapons, such as knives and guns.

Several local authority areas within London, West Midlands and Wales will pilot a new law being introduced in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that requires local government, police and public health bodies to review the circumstances of certain homicides where the victim was aged 18 or over, and the events surrounding their death involved, or were likely to have involved, the use of an offensive weapon.

Offensive weapons homicide reviews aim to provide a more holistic understanding of particular offensive weapons homicides in order to help inform preventative actions to save lives in the future. The purpose will be to identify the lessons to be learnt from a death, to consider whether any action should be taken as a result, and to share the outcomes.

As set out in the government’s Beating Crime Plan, at the heart of our strategy to reduce homicide, serious violence and neighbourhood crime are targeted interventions to address places, people, and criminal enterprises.

Co-designing and piloting the reviews first with partners in London, West Midlands and Wales, will ensure the reviews are as effective as possible in implementing change that saves lives.

The pilot locations were chosen to provide insight from places with differing levels of homicide and serious violence in both England and Wales. They are intended to run for 18 months.

The duty to arrange and conduct offensive weapons homicide reviews will be enshrined in law through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, currently in its passage through Parliament.

Homicide reviews already take place in a number of circumstances - including when a child dies, a vulnerable adult dies, or when the death occurs in a domestic setting. If a death would be subject to such another review, there will not be a need to conduct a separate offensive weapons homicide review, so as to avoid duplication.

Home Office