Knight’s Days - the Life at Westminster column with Sir Greg Knight MP

Parliament is considering a new Offensive Weapons Bill.
Parliament is considering a new Offensive Weapons Bill.

Although Parliament funds our universities, in this country we have a proud tradition of not interfering in the subjects chosen for academic research.

Even so, I do find some of the subjects studied surprising.

Sir Greg Knight MP

Sir Greg Knight MP

Some of the more unusual research has involved collecting camera footage from 34 people who were given cameras to use for the experiment.

The study ran the camera footage through an algorithm that recognised motion ‘signatures’ that were unique to each person and therefore identified who had taken the video shots from their movement alone.

The boffins have concluded that all footage contains a ‘motion signature’ which is unique to each person and it could therefore identify who shot the video or film.

Why on earth would this be of interest to anyone, you may wonder, until you realise that, for example, it would reveal to a court which police officer wearing a body camera did the filming, giving a level of assurance that the video being shown is from that particular officer.

Also, extremists who upload videos to the web would not be as anonymous as they think, thus helping in the fight against terrorism.

Here in the UK, week after week we hear grim news of confrontations occurring involving yobs with knives and also the growing use of acid being used in unprovoked attacks.

It is clear that action is needed to stop this dangerous trend in thuggery.

In this world of the internet, youngsters can buy both acid and knives online quite easily, so to stamp out this behaviour we need more than effective policing. We need to change the law.

Parliament is therefore considering a new Offensive Weapons Bill.

This will ban the delivery of knives and corrosives bought online to residential addresses, make it harder for young people to buy knives and acid online, and require sellers to ensure a rigorous age verification process is in place to prove those purchasing such items are over 18 years of age.

The Bill will also ban the possession of weapons such as zombie knives, knuckle dusters and death stars, both in public and in private.

These moves are welcome, as Parliament should do everything it can to prevent the sale and possession of dangerous weapons.

The Offensive Weapons Bill is a key part of the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, and it will make it harder than ever before for people to get their hands on dangerous weapons.

Acid and knives can cause serious injury and even death so the need for action is clear.

Official statistics show that, across the world, human beings were responsible for killing 580,000 people in the last year for which figures are available.

This is a shocking figure but we are not the biggest killer of humans.

Something else was responsible for a massive number of human deaths in the same year and it is a ‘being’ which can hardly be seen.

830,000 is the number of people who were killed in one year alone by mosquitoes!

It might seem impossible that something so miniscule can kill so many people, but it’s true.

According to the World Health Organization, the majority of these deaths are due to malaria.