LONDON, April 8 (Xinhua) -- A ban on the sale of the most dangerous corrosive products to under-18s and tough restrictions on online sales of knives were announced Sunday by the Home Office, Britain's interior ministry.
The move comes as politicians and senior police officials grapple with a wave of stabbings and killings in London, which so far this year have left more than 50 people dead.
In the latest incident, police in London arrested a woman on suspicion of attempted murder Saturday night after a man was stabbed outside Highbury and Islington station in north London.
The government is to make it a criminal offence to possess corrosive substances in a public place, and publicly consult on extending controversial stop-and-search powers to enable the police to search for and seize acid from people carrying it in public without good reason.
A new Offensive Weapons Bill, to be brought forward within weeks, would also make it illegal to possess certain offensive weapons like zombie knives and knuckle-dusters in private.
The commitment of new legislation will form part of a government Serious Violence Strategy to be launched Monday.
"It will mark a major shift in the government's response to knife crime and gun crime, and strike a balance between prevention and robust law enforcement," said a Home Office spokesperson.
Other measures which the Home Office intends to bring forward within weeks include stopping knives being sent to residential addresses after they are bought online and banning the possession of a knife within colleges and further education premises.
Also banned will be rapid firing rifles, and certain powerful firearms and bump stocks.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "To tackle violent crime effectively, robust legislation and powerful law enforcement must be in place. That's why we will introduce a new Offensive Weapons Bill that includes a new offence of possessing acid in public without good reason, prevents sales of acids to under 18s and stops knives being sent to people's homes when bought online.
"We will consult on extending stop and search powers to include acid. Stop and search is a vital policing tool and officers will always have the government's full support to use these powers properly."
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Rudd rejected claims by opposition Labour politicians that more crime was fuelled by reduced resources to the police.
Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said: "While it is welcome to see the Tories acknowledging the epidemic of violence that has risen on their watch, by cutting 21,000 officers since 2010 they have completely undermined the ability of the police to enforce any new powers."
"Talking tough is not enough. This announcement ignores the factors which we know contribute to crime, including a lack of decent work opportunities for young people, cuts to health services and decline in community policing. They need to give the police the resources they need to keep people safe and pursue a collaborative approach to tackling violent crime on our streets."