In April 2023, Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs) are due to come into force in certain pilot areas (Section 342A to 342K of the Sentencing Code).
The conviction must be for an offence which was committed on or after the first day appointed by regulations for the commencement to any extent of the orders. That is, on or after the day the pilot of SVROs was commenced. The legislation is not retrospective, an SVRO cannot be made in relation to a conviction for an offence committed before the legislation was first commenced.
These orders can be made in respect of offenders convicted of any offence in which a knife or an offensive weapon has been involved.
An SVRO is a civil order made in respect of an offender convicted of an offence involving a bladed article or offensive weapon. The order provides the police with the power to search a person subject to an SVRO, to ascertain if they have a bladed article or offensive weapon with them and to detain them for the purpose of carrying out that search, provided that person is in a public place.
Grounds for making an order:
- Offender aged 18 years or above.
- The court must be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that a bladed article or offensive weapon was used by or was with the offender when the offence was committed; or another person who committed the offence used or had with them a bladed article or offensive weapon in the commission of the offence and the offender knew or ought to have known that this would be the case.
- The court must consider it necessary to make an order to protect the public or protect any particular members of the public (including the offender) in England and Wales from the risk of harm involving a bladed article or offensive weapon or to prevent the offender from committing an offence involving a bladed article or offensive weapon.
Duration of the order
Duration of between six months and two years – if imprisoned, the court may order that the order does not take effect until the offender is released from custody.
The offender commits an offence if they fail, without reasonable excuse to do anything they are required to do by the order or do anything they are prohibited from doing by the order; if they knowingly notify the police with false information in purported compliance with the order; if they tell a constable that they are not subject to an order, or they intentionally obstruct a constable in the exercise of the stop and search power.
The penalty for committing such an offence on summary conviction is currently imprisonment for a maximum of twelve months or a fine (unlimited) or both.
The penalty for conviction on indictment is imprisonment for a maximum of two years, or a fine (unlimited) or both.
Appeals by the offender against the making of an order can be made as if the order were a sentence passed on the offender for an offence.
Appeals in respect of an application for an order varying, renewing or discharging an SVRO can be made to the Court of Appeal if that application was made to the Crown Court or in any other case appeals for an order varying, renewing or discharging an SVRO are made to the Crown Court.
How can we help?
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