2010 election & changes to knife law

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nige7whit

Forager
Feb 10, 2009
227
0
48
Brize Norton / Midlands (rest)
"In town" is too vague a term to be of much use, I feel.

If you were to take the start of 'town' as the signs on the road in, then that covers quite a large area, for any town.

I would far rather see severe sentences for knife crimes where the knife was used as an offensive weapon, in the terms of the act, rather than for marginal infringments of the possession facet of the law.

When I'm out for a wallk in the countryside in Wiltshire or Cumbria, I might have a Mora, an MOD Survival Knife and a Laplander saw in my bag (as well as a Swiss Army Knife or 2 in my pockets). This brings about the lawful authority or reasonable excuse argument.

I might see some wood to cut along the way, or I might not, I do not have a specific piece of wood in mind when I set out for my walk, therefore I have the large knives with me 'just in case', which is a little dodgy.

If I committed an assault or robbery with my knives, then I would expect the full weight of the law, etc, but I am a reasonable and responsible citizen, having no criminal record, and have a plausable excuse for the items I may have.

A few years ago, when I was a pistol shooter, and the ban was being enacted, we were told that if we (as law abiding, police vetted firearms holders) failed to surrender our legally held, no criminal usage pistols, we would face 10 years jail. Contrast this with the current paltry 5 year sentence for the illegal posession of a prohibited weapon (it's acquisition would have been illegal also, as it could only have been with criminal intent).
 

Trunks

Full Member
May 31, 2008
1,685
2
Haworth
I'd disagree, when I'm not bushcrafting I'm a safety officer and accident investigator - I use a knife as part of my job - I'd hate to be in the position where I could be arrested for having a knife "in town", likewise I went up to Scotland last year by train so went through London again the same concern and given the lack of judgement or discretion of Mr Plod I'd be very concerned, it's too blunt a tool.
True, i'd not thought about that.

I suppose it will also depend upon what the politicians/law makers classify as a "knife". I can see that the bushcrafter fixed blade type will most likely fall into that category, but what about the SAK etc.

Someone who is already hell bent on stabbing someone is breaking the current law. By creating a blanket ban on "Knives", this person is still breaking the law - just thousands of innocent people will have been criminalized in the process.

I have spent what seems like ages searching for some CLEAR guidance on the finer points of each parties proposed knife laws, you know what? There doesn't seem to be any :confused:
 

Hangman

Tenderfoot
I have spent what seems like ages searching for some CLEAR guidance on the finer points of each parties proposed knife laws, you know what? There doesn't seem to be any :confused:
At the risk of seeming cynical I suspect that they will not be pinned down on anything substantive till at least after the election - why say something that could cost them votes?

And of course how much of a handle do any of the parties really have on this subject?
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,018
449
Lancashire
Doesn't the existing laws allow for valid reasons. Yes it is possible you are going to to have to explain those valid reasons and have those reasons shown up to the light if spotted with said knife. Is there anything wrong with that? 5 minutes of your time to get the clearance to proceed (occasionally without your knife if you don't have good reason to carry and you surrender it rather than having a legal process to undergo) or the rest of someone's life another time when someone carrying wasn't stopped and went on to ne'erdowell.

As far as what each party will do I think it will be easier to sum things up by saying that all three main parties will see this as a sound-bite topic to make them sound "tough on crime" but will not see much point in actually changing any legislation. Thehy only tinker around with the edges such as change police targets or similar. The legislation and the tests as part of those laws will remain. At least that is IMHO and my mere 18plus years of voing age that I have been watching these things.

I do think in Politics and the election there are more important issues than knife issues. I think someone else has posted to this effect earlier too.

Anyway, carry on, perhaps we will have an original post on the knife legislation issue come up.
 

Minotaur

Native
Apr 27, 2005
1,065
0
Birmingham
I actually think that the knife law - as is - is a quite sophisticated piece of legislation. As i understand it, it does not ban anyone form carrying a knife, if it is for a "valid" reason. If you are carrying a knife in the pub, then you get arrested and charged - i'm very happy and reassured by that.
The problem with a lot of our laws is that they are mismatched, or require money, and balls to challenge. Think about it the only reason a locking knife is a fixed blade is because a judge said so. No one actual knows what a valid reason is.

The big problem is the way trains etc are acting for me, that is a big problem.

A few years ago, when I was a pistol shooter, and the ban was being enacted, we were told that if we (as law abiding, police vetted firearms holders) failed to surrender our legally held, no criminal usage pistols, we would face 10 years jail. Contrast this with the current paltry 5 year sentence for the illegal posession of a prohibited weapon (it's acquisition would have been illegal also, as it could only have been with criminal intent).
I hope you managed to sell your stuff or did not give them anything to good. I know a couple of people who were so screwed by this.
 

Hangman

Tenderfoot
Doesn't the existing laws allow for valid reasons. Yes it is possible you are going to to have to explain those valid reasons and have those reasons shown up to the light if spotted with said knife. Is there anything wrong with that? 5 minutes of your time to get the clearance to proceed (occasionally without your knife if you don't have good reason to carry and you surrender it rather than having a legal process to undergo) or the rest of someone's life another time when someone carrying wasn't stopped and went on to ne'erdowell.
That's great in theory, but as has been proven time and time again the police are not getting it right - see my above post about the demonstrations I gave and idiot plod. Also if the law were to exist for valid reasons the report from the Met (as per a previous post of mine) should have been taken into account, the end result is a law that in real terms is as effective as the Dangerous Dogs Act.

To use parallels: Dangerous Dogs Act: how many dogs were held in kennels or destroyed needlessly as police 'thought' they were dangerous breeds?

How many actual 'dangerous dogs' were taken from owners?

You'll find a huge disparity in the two figures, heck even the RSPCA, the British Vetrinary Association and the Kennel Club all stated that the legislation wouldn't work.

VCR Act: How many prosecutions for knife crime have there been for possession of a knife under the VCRA?

How many of these were 'legitimate' users or those that had the defence of having non locking blades yet were still prosecuted and/or had thier knives confiscated?

Again, the majority of the law abiding are copping the brunt of ill advised, ill thought out legislation and enforcement.

I think that we should be doing something about knife crime, but it isn't a problem in isolation - the underlying issues such gang culture, poverty to name a few have not been addressed by the VCRA.

I work in the area of safety where contrary to the Daily Mail's penchant for bashing 'elf n safety innit?' safety legislation has a clear rationale behind it - part of this is that the process to enact H&S law involves long consultation with those affected by it especially industry, I know I've been involved in the consultation process for a lot of the H&S legislation passed and amended over the last 10 years.

In contrast the consultation for criminal law, in particular the VCRA was as short as HMG could legally get away with.

Some groups affected by VCRA (including airsofters) nearly had thier hobbies outlawed because of the haste in passing legislation that was 'tough on crime'.

Also part of the VCRA consultation stated that locking blade knives would be dealt with 'in a common sense manner and on a case by case basis' How long did that last? Cue idiot judge who made a legally binding precedent that he will not explain - and to get it reviewed costs money - lots of, more than most individuals can afford.



It's the old adage 'Hard cases make for bad laws'.
 
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DFCA

Nomad
Aug 11, 2009
295
0
Monmouthshire
I never quite understand why this issue always gets so bogged down and complicated.

The simple answer is this:

Carry whatever knife you want wherever you like.
IF you threaten someone with a knife - you will go to prison for 5 years.
If you stab someone with a knife - you will go to prison for 20 years.
If you kill someone with a knife - you will go to prison and never come out.

An object poses no threat to anyone, it is the action WITH that object and therefore the user that creates the threat.

If I carry a knife and am aware that without any shadow of a doubt, a mis-use will result in one of the above three, then I will not mis-use it.

If I am deranged or deluded enough to mis-use it, then I will be removed from society.

The person must be removed NOT the perfectly viable tool.

Of course we could ban the tool and spend all of our money, time and resources trying to treat the dregs with kid gloves, understanding their terribly unfair and hard lives and punishing the good and moral silent majority .... oh wait .......

Gosh, that was my first (almost) rant on Bushcraft UK - do forgive my indulgance :)

All the best
Dave

(oh and I work for a steel company - dont even START me on Health & Safety!)
 
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pango

Nomad
Feb 10, 2009
380
4
65
Fife
My apologies, Trunks, I did go on a wee rant before and seem to have been accused of lowering the tone, which confuses me somewhat... unless someone thinks we should only discuss matters they approve of! I stand by what I said.

I agree that there are far more political issues than knife carrying, but what can be more important than preventing children and youths being killed and maimed on our streets for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, shop assistants being stabbed or assaulted for approaching a shop-lifter or people being kicked to death at their front doors. There doesn't have to be a lethal weapon involved!

I have no doubt that, given a single issue, any of our politicians or political parties are capable of devising an effective campaign to clear offensive weapons from our streets. But this isn't a single issue and will take a substantial amount of social engineering to put right. The problems may well lie in perceived divisions in society. It's nothing new and to my knowledge, no social plan has ever been able to fixed it, although The Beveridge Plan did make a substantial dent!

In the meantime, we're stuck with Plod doing his job, hopefully in the best way he/she can. And sometimes they get it right. I was stopped running for a train in Glasgow carrying an ice-axe in one hand and a set of crampons in the other. They bundled me in a car and took me to the station with instructions to get the offending articles inside my rucksac, and recently, after walking out of the hills and driving into Corpach for groceries, was eye-balled by the occupants of a patrol car. A nod of the head as I passed the car compelled me to look at the sheath on my belt.
"Forgot where you were, eh? Don't let me see it again!"

As someone has pointed out, if a blanket ban were ordered by Parliament, that Police discretion would go. But would it solve the problem? The Police are still left with only their prejudices to discern what a violent thug looks like.

In the 2 years immediately after the ban on handguns, gun crime rose by 40% and the illegal importation of firearms seemed to go exponential.

It's been said of the Firearms Ban that sometimes a triumph for democracy isn't necessarily a triumph for reason or morality.
 

pango

Nomad
Feb 10, 2009
380
4
65
Fife
DFCA, surely the objective has to be proactive. This issue is to do with prevention rather than retribution.
 

DFCA

Nomad
Aug 11, 2009
295
0
Monmouthshire
I'm afraid that, as far as I can see, a proactive system has failed.

There would appear to be a growing element in society that has no understanding or perhaps acceptance of what is right and wrong. I have actually heard some people say that they can "get away" with something as the punishment, if it happens at all, will be minimal.

There has been a breakdown of respect in general. This is for people, property, society, community and the self.

I used to be far more tolerant and maybe procative myself but I fear that a lack of punishment for wrong-doing is where the problem lies. Why are people afraid of punishing people for breaking the rules of our society. Are we really in a better position now with our liberal (small L) approach? We see it in schools where it appears that we cannot discipline pupils for fear of upsetting the little darlings. We see it on the streets where the right to cause chaos is primary over the right to a peaceful existence.

Isn't the penalty for crime a punishment? When did that change? I despair at my liberties being infringed because someone wants to "understand" and help a thug wannabe gang member who wields a knife as an weapon.

I take resonsibility for my actions and try to respect others and their property. I accept that if I break the laws of my society (for which read community perhaps?) I will be punished and I believe that a punishment should be a deterant. For me it is.

I'm thinking that a little island called Daveland is looking sweeter and sweeter!

All the best
Dave
 

Jakata

Full Member
Dec 16, 2009
87
0
41
Northampton
There are much larger issues that knives, gentlemen!
I sort of disagree.

There is nothing more important than personal freedom, the rushed knife laws are just an example of how the government want to take away personal freedom. A blanket punishment is far easier for them than actually dealing with the real issues.
 

DFCA

Nomad
Aug 11, 2009
295
0
Monmouthshire
I fear the rot may well have already eaten away at the roots by that time ... its just that the new gardeners dug around the roots rather than trying to save the tree!

I worry now that I have dragged this into the area that we were not supposed to be heading into - namely a rant about knife law and associated stuff, perhaps we should talk about the right to arm bears instead :)

All the best
Dave
 

pango

Nomad
Feb 10, 2009
380
4
65
Fife
Don't get me wrong, Dave. I for one don't think a hug will make it all better but rather would prefer to see willful acts of violence punished in such a way as to make even the thought of re-offending a matter for serious consideration.

I'll say again though, that punishing crime on an individual basis does not even approach the root causes of Social Problems. It merely sweeps them under the carpet.

perhaps we should talk about the right to arm bears instead :) Dave
I used to work with an American who did just that. He told me he'd been hunting when at home in Oregon and turned round to find a grizzly bear looming over him. When I asked him what he did he replied...
"After I sh*t my pants I threw my rifle at the bear and ran! It was then I realised there was a bear behind me with a gun."

He also told me that when running from a grizzly there's no point in climbing a tree. That just means you're gonna die up a tree!
 

Minotaur

Native
Apr 27, 2005
1,065
0
Birmingham
Also part of the VCRA consultation stated that locking blade knives would be dealt with 'in a common sense manner and on a case by case basis' How long did that last? Cue idiot judge who made a legally binding precedent that he will not explain - and to get it reviewed costs money - lots of, more than most individuals can afford.
There is a lawyer in London, who all the footballers use, he boasts he can get you off any vehicle crime. He gets them out of tickets on a regular basis. Of course, he costs a fortune, so pay a fortune or the £80 odd quid. He actually proved that speed cameras do not work.
 

Siberianfury

Native
Jan 1, 1970
1,535
0
mendip hills, somerset
i think they need their heads screwed on properly, the majority of people using knives use them as tools, chavs and hooligans will still commit violent crimes wether its with knives, guns or broken bottles.
perhaps they should keep the law on non locking blades ect, but introduce a licence type thing for those who have a need to carry a more substantial tool, E.G Work, Bushcraft, Hobbys.

The people we have campaining against knives are hypocryts, what the hell do they use to cut up their food in the kitchen, their hands??? most knife crimes are with kitchen knives anyway, when your avarage gang member is faced with the choice of eihter:

A. ordering a handmade knife from the internet, parting with around £100 and waiting a week before he can cary it as a weapon?

or B. Go into his mums kitchen drawer, nick her 7" carving knife, shove it down his trousers and be on his way?

what does he do?? its common sence but the poloticians who have never seen the other side to knife use are fixated on the Evil and malice accosiated with knives.

im 19 in a couple of days, at my age carrying a toothpick is seen as a grime :mad:

Ive actualy started a facebook petition called "knives are tools", we have about 340 members, anyone is free to join if they wish- http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=345136903943&ref=ts


im just extreamly Glad i live in an area where stop and searches are practicaly unheard of.
 
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HillBill

Bushcrafter through and through
Oct 1, 2008
8,113
56
W. Yorkshire
perhaps they should keep the law on non locking blades ect, but introduce a licence type thing for those who have a need to carry a more substantial tool, E.G Work, Bushcraft, Hobbys.
Josh, why would you want a license for something we already have without one?:)

Folk do not get bothered by the law much about knives, legitimate users that is. The reason being is that, legitimate users are either obvious legitimate users on sight, they don't hang around with mates on the street carrying one, they do not view them as a weapon and as such do not act like they have a weapon, etc etc.

I have never been questioned about a knife i have had. Not many folk have, the media just hype up the occasional one that does or the knife crime in general, having you believe it is rampant and everywhere, the bogey man outside your door.

How much hassle have you had from the police about your air rifle or knives? :)
 

Siberianfury

Native
Jan 1, 1970
1,535
0
mendip hills, somerset
Josh, why would you want a license for something we already have without one?:)

Folk do not get bothered by the law much about knives, legitimate users that is. The reason being is that, legitimate users are either obvious legitimate users on sight, they don't hang around with mates on the street carrying one, they do not view them as a weapon and as such do not act like they have a weapon, etc etc.

I have never been questioned about a knife i have had. Not many folk have, the media just hype up the occasional one that does or the knife crime in general, having you believe it is rampant and everywhere, the bogey man outside your door.

How much hassle have you had from the police about your air rifle or knives? :)

a licence is better than none at all mate, ive had no hassle, and ive carried my air rifle down the high street in the day inthe slip past officers, no problems. as for knives i put them in my backpack.
 

poddle

New Member
As a licensed Fire Arms holder I can carry my slipped Shotguns, Rimfires, and Centrefires with ammunition ANYWHERE I choose and at ANYTIME I choose, without having to have a reason, (unless it was in a particularly sensitive zone)

This is the difference a licence makes.

Take a knife, and you always have to come up with a reason, and sometimes that could be hard to prove

Simple as that really.

If it makes life easier and less chance of a silly misguided, misinterpreted life wrecking prosecution, then so be it.
Considering what I had to go through to get a deer calibre centre-fire, well a knife licence would be like filling out a lottery ticket.

Play them at their own game.


Its not a problem for me.

A license states that you have been vetted by the Police and appear to be no threat to the general public or yourself,and are therefore legally allowed to carry said item.
 
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