Stopped By The Police

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Full Member
Jan 13, 2015
I'm fully aware of the UK laws covering what, when and where we can carry knives but I'm just wondering if anyone has actually been stopped and searched and had to give just cause for carrying a knife?

In all my years, I've only had two instances when I have been questioned about my knives, the first was when I was "patted down" at a football match and then found a minature swiss army knife on my keyring but was told not to bring it in the future. The only other time was as I was boarding a ferry and was asked if I had any knives on me - I showed them my dive knife that was attached to my dive kit and locked away in the boot of the car.

I've been stopped a few times on my bike but never asked to declare or searched and I always have a folding knife on me somewhere (a legal Spyderco).

If I'm out walking/camping etc, I've normally got two knives on me, a fixed blade and a locking penknife, both out of sight and only in my pack etc

It would be interesting to know how many people on here have had discussions with the police.


Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
Pontypool, Wales, Uk
I was stopped once because "I have reason to believe that you are carrying a knife sir"

I was, and the officer had seen me use it to trim a stick. I agreed that I was indeed carrying a knife, and a folding saw (laplander) and an axe, and explained that I was walking to a camping spot for a bit of bushcraft, and that everything was packed away in my pack, including the knife after I had used it. We had a pleasant chat and I went on my way. No warning or anything, because I had good reason and was behaving sensibly. Just an officer doing his job and a law-abiding bushcrafter.


Jul 15, 2013
Perth, Western Australia
I have been questioned by a police officer once while working. This is in Australia mind you, he suggested that I shouldn't be carrying a knife to which I suggested that I actually use it for work. He left after saying no more.


M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
I always just assumed everybody I talked to was armed. Safer that way. The only time I asked about sharps was just before I'd search them: "Do you have anything in your pockets that's going to cut me or stick me?" No matter what their answer, I wore Kevlar gloves anyway.

Grey Owl

Nov 26, 2006
I was challenged over a knife I was carrying, believe it or not, in the good old US of A back in 1995. My girlfriend (now wife) and I would spend our spring break from university busking in the downtown Washington DC area. After performing for the lunchtime crowds, we would close the cases, stash the coins, and break out our lunch. In this case, we were having sandwiches with tomato, cheese, lettuce, and I pulled out a sheath knife (an antlered handled Solingen piece of garbage from my uncle) to cut up the tomato, the knife had been buried inside a duffle bag for my instrument, music, stools, extra clothes, etc.

An officer approached and asked that I put the knife away. Evidently there is a law prohibited knives/weapons within a certain proximity to the White House. He told us, "I have no concerns about you, you're as honest as the day is long, but around the White House we don't take chances." He encouraged us to not worry about it, finish our lunch and keep it out of sight in the future.

Otherwise, here in Canada now, I carry a locking folder on a daily basis, and often a sheath knife in my computer bag. Never had a question.....but that could all change one day.


M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
LOL. Were you in Washington, DC? Or in the US? The two are often mutually exclusive with DC having to be dragged back into the US by the courts. They're still kicking and screaming about The Supreme Court decision in Heller vs DC forcing them to issue concealed weapons licenses.

Dave Budd

Gold Trader
Staff member
Jan 8, 2006
Dartmoor (Devon)
i've only been stopped the once and in fairness, I was running down the street with an axe in my hand. It as about 6am and I was putting it into a craft shop for a customer to pick up. A brewery truck had blocked the only road through the village so I had to leg it a hundred yards as I was in a rush. Unluckily a copper was getting some money from a hole in the wall opposite the shop! She was fine with the axe thing actually, but did hold me up because she insisted on coming in to browse the nice things in the shop :rolleyes:

Actually there was another time, but it was more because I was attempting to drive into Windsor Castle with a car full of gear at lunchtime whilst the Queen was in. The armed police were stopping everybody not coming out of the place and directed me to where to get a pass to allow entry

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
I have not been stopped myself but I did stop a Policeman once and ask him about the sharps he carried. He admitted to carrying a locking Leatherman that was a personal item.
I pointed out that as the Police are not above the Law he needed a good reason to carry one. He said his reason was "Just in case". I asked if that reason would work for the general public. He just smiled and said that it depended on circumstances....


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 24, 2011
I find it hard to imagine why the po po would stop a normal, older person like the ones from the forum.

Maybe scruffy paupers like me in our 20's.. , and hoodie bound media stereotypes yeah, but not average Joe in his green coat and wellies.. right??


Jan 31, 2015
The police can't do anything. Look up John Harris on Youtube, quicker than me trying to explain it ;-)
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Mar 3, 2006
someone on here, was stopped and searched and had their knife confiscated by the police, he had it in his pack with all his bushcraft kit on his way to the woods..
Cant remember who....

Hammock Hamster

Full Member
Feb 17, 2012
Surbiton, Surrey
Slightly off topic but I was once stopped with an air rifle at a bus stop on the way to my shooting club. It was about 7am on a Sunday morning and it was in a rectangular gun slip so not obvious to the casual passerby.

The officers asked what I had in the bag and I explained it was an air rifle and I was transporting it to the club. I was polite with them and offered to open the bag in the bag of their car, so as not to alarm anyone, and by the time my bus arrived we were having a good chat about shooting in general.

The point in relation to this thread is that I have always found that being polite and reasonable goes such a long way with the police, I really don't understand those people who feel the need to be difficult for the sake of it when stopped by the police.


Jul 24, 2014
I've been stopped and searched when I have had my axe belt hoop on with the Axe, and my knife sheathed around my neck. When I explain what I am doing, I am usually left to go on. Only once have I been asked to put them in my bag before I go.

In one instance, I had one police officer give me his details because he was interested in bushcraft but lacked time to do it, so was keen to learn (not that I have much to impart)


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 25, 2011
North Yorkshire, UK
me, twice.

Random stop and search at railway station (not actually random, they have a quota system and I was the middle aged white male of the hour). I had locking sak in my bag, 4". No comment made.

Entering court house to get some documents stamped, same knife in bag. Court officer took me outside, said they hadn't seen the knife and told me to conceal it outside the courthouse then come in again.


May 16, 2006
North Yorkshire
Carried a pocket knife for 30 years (including most of the way through secondary school). Always have a knife in the rucsack when I'm out.

I regulary carry large quantity of throwing knives and tomahawks around (in a bag in the boot of the car)

No never been stopped.


Mar 3, 2006
I have never been searched but I have shown my pocket knife to a few police officers, one suggested I stopped carrying a locking knife :)

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
The point in relation to this thread is that I have always found that being polite and reasonable goes such a long way with the police, I really don't understand those people who feel the need to be difficult for the sake of it when stopped by the police.
Exactly so. I have had a traffic cop pull over when I was changing a wheel. Stacked neatly beside the car were several gun cases and drag bags together with two, full, clearly labeled ammo cans. I had to remove them from the car to get at the spare. He ensured I was okay, that I had a spare and a phone and had a chat. Didn't ask about the guns or to see my certificate. I asked him about that and he said there was no need, I was obviously law abiding with a smile. So, I suspect if you are mouthy idiot with a chip on your shoulder you reap what you sow. If you show courtesy, you are treated with courtesy.