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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 June 2005, 14:17 GMT 15:17 UK
At a glance: Violent Crime Reduction Bill
Drunken brawl in Newcastle city centre
Northumbria Police released images of drunken disorder to highlight the problem
The government has published one of its flagship pieces of new legislation - the Violent Crime Reduction Bill.

Among the issues addressed in the bill are the sale of knives and replica guns, and tackling binge drinking-related disorder.

The Home Office says the bill will ensure that police and local communities have the necessary powers to reduce violent crimes involving imitation guns, knives and alcohol in their neighbourhood.

Here are the key plans included in the bill, published on Wednesday:

  • Make it illegal to manufacture or sell imitation firearms that could be mistaken for real firearms.

  • Bring in higher sentences introduced for carrying imitation firearms.

  • Design more stringent manufacturing standards to ensure imitation firearms cannot be converted to fire real ammunition.

  • Increase the age limit for buying or firing an air weapon without supervision, from 17 to 18.

  • Make it an offence to use other people to hide or carry guns or knives.

  • Raise the age limit for buying knives from 16 to 18.

  • Introduce powers for head teachers and other members of staff to search pupils for knives.
  • Create Alcohol Disorder Zones (ADZs), making licensed premises contribute to the cost of alcohol-related disorder in areas where it has been identified as a problem.

  • Ban people responsible for alcohol-related disorder from certain areas, pubs and clubs, by imposing 'Drinking Banning Orders' that could last up to two years.

  • Give police powers to ban the sale of alcohol at licensed premises for up to 48 hours for selling alcohol to minors. Also enable them to exclude individuals at risk of carrying out alcohol-related disorder from a specific area for up to 48 hours.




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