This page provides access to research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can filter the research briefings by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.
Police stop and search powers
Published Wednesday, August 7, 2019 | Commons Briefing papers SN03878
This Briefing Paper describes the police stop and search powers and outlines a recent history of their reform. It also discusses the available evidence on the effectiveness of stop and search.
Knife Crime: Government Policy
Published Thursday, June 20, 2019 | Lords Library notes LLN-2019-0082
This House of Lords Library Briefing has been prepared in advance of the forthcoming debate on the impact of government policy on knife crime.
Knife Crime: Policy and Causes
Published Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | Lords Library notes LLN-2019-0061
This House of Lords Library Briefing explores current government policy in relation to knife crime and some of the possible causes of the recent increase in violent crime.
Topics: Alternatives to prison, Central government, Crimes of violence, Drugs crimes, Economic policy, Economic situation, Internet and cybercrime, Ministers, Offensive weapons, Police, Public expenditure, Public order offences, Schools, Unemployment
Early Interventions to Reduce Violent Crime
Published Tuesday, April 16, 2019 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0599
Violent crime includes a range of offences, from assault to murder. It can be any action that intentionally inflicts (or threatens) physical or psychological damage. Over the past decade overall crime has decreased, and violent crime is down by 69% since 1995. However, homicides and crimes involving knives or sharp instruments have risen since 2014. This has been reflected in an increase in hospital admissions for assaults with knives or sharp instruments. Violent offences are disproportionately concentrated in metropolitan areas, such as London and cities in West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands. This POSTnote outlines types and prevalence of violent crime. It describes risk factors associated with involvement as a victim or perpetrator of violent crime. It then presents evidence on the effectiveness of early interventions to counter these risk factors and prevent violent crime.
Offensive Weapons Bill 2017-19 (HC Bill 232)
Published Monday, March 25, 2019 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8349
The Offensive Weapons Bill 2017-19 (HC Bill 232) was published on 20 June 2018. Consideration of Lords amendments is due to take place on 26 March 2019.
Knives and offensive weapons
Published Thursday, March 21, 2019 | Commons Briefing papers SN00330
This briefing provides information on the two main categories of offence relating to knives and offensive weapons in England and Wales: offences relating to possession and offences relating to sale and supply. It also describes police guidance on cautioning and charging and the Government's policy on knife crime.
Offensive Weapons Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages
Published Tuesday, December 18, 2018 | Lords Library notes LLN-2018-0143
This House of Lords Library Briefing has been prepared in advance of the second reading of the Offensive Weapons Bill in the House of Lords on 7 January 2019.
Knife crime statistics
Published Friday, November 9, 2018 | Commons Briefing papers SN04304
Knife crime is a persistent and worrying concern, especially as it impacts particularly upon young people and the disadvantaged, and various remedies have been tried over the years.
Firearm Crime Statistics: England & Wales
Published Wednesday, June 27, 2018 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7654
Statistics on the number of police recorded firearm offences are published by the ONS in the Crime in England & Wales bulletin. Gun related crime statistics are published by the ONS in the Offences involving the use of weapons: data tables.
Age of Criminal Responsibility
Published Wednesday, June 27, 2018 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0577
A POSTnote that discusses the age of criminal responsibility and explores issues arising from international legal standards, the scientific research on children's mental and moral development, and alternative approaches to dealing with children in conflict with the law.
Topics: Alternatives to prison, Anti-social behaviour, Children's social services, Courts, Crime, Crimes of violence, Criminal law, Drugs crimes, EU law and treaties, Human rights, International law, Internet and cybercrime, Medical ethics, Mental health, Offensive weapons, Prisons, Public order offences, Science, Sexual offences, United Nations
Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill [HL]: Briefing for Lords Stages
Published Thursday, December 21, 2017 | Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0103
This House of Lords Library Briefing has been prepared in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill [HL] on 9 January 2018.
Prison Statistics, England and Wales
Published Wednesday, December 6, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8161
This paper provides background statistics on prisons in England and Wales ahead of the Backbench Business debate on a motion on prison reform and safety (Robert Niell MP) on 7 December 2017.
Firearm Crime Statistics: Scotland
Published Wednesday, August 2, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7672
This briefing paper examines firearm offence statistics published by the Scottish Government in the Recorded Crimes and Offences Involving Firearms bulletin. The latest bulletin was published in November 2016.
Cyber Security of UK Infrastructure
Published Tuesday, May 2, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0554
The Government has identified ‘cyber’ as one of six Tier 1 threats to UK national security. This POSTnote focuses on the cyber security of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, describing measures to improve cyber security and challenges in implementing them. It also reviews the new National Cyber Security Strategy, along with international policy and legislation.
Topics: Armed forces, Arms control, Aviation, Central government, Data protection, Emergencies and disaster management, Employment, Energy, EU law and treaties, Financial institutions, Health services, Industry, Information technology, Intelligence services, International law, International trade, Internet and cybercrime, Ministers, Offensive weapons, Privacy, Railways, Regulation, Roads, Security industry, Standards, Students, Terrorism, Training, Utilities, Water
Serious Crime Bill
Published Thursday, December 18, 2014 | Commons Briefing papers RP14-67
This Bill would make changes aimed to strengthen the law on the recovery of the proceeds of crime. It would make amendments to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 to update existing offences. It would also provide for a new offence of participating in the activities of an organised crime group and make changes to Serious Crime Prevention Orders and gang injunctions. The Bill would provide for the seizure and forfeiture of substances used as drug-cutting agents. It would also amend the offence of child cruelty, create a new offence relating to the possession of ‘paedophile manuals’ and amend the law on Female Genital Mutilation. The Bill would create a new offence of unauthorised possession of a knife or other offensive weapon in prison and confer extra-territorial jurisdiction on the courts in respect of certain terrorism offences.
Firearm Crime Statistics
Published Monday, January 30, 2012 | Commons Briefing papers SN01940
This Standard Note summarises statistics relating to crimes recorded by the police in England, Wales and Scotland in which firearms were reportedly used.