As someone who dabbles in law enforcement, I often feel the need to clarify some of the beliefs about being caught in possession of a bladed article. Chris rightly states our powers have not changed in relation to section 1 PACE (power to stop+search). I can confirm:
1) if you’re in a rural setting with a belt knife, are friendly, and have good reason to carry it and don’t try to hide, you’ll have no issue. It’s like with shotguns/firearms. I have worked rurally and on many an occasion chatted happily to someone with a gun slung over their shoulder where in a city it would have been a full firearms authority.
2) if you head into an urban setting, put the knife in a bag. You’ve still got good reason to carry it as you’re going from A to B.
3) police have no interest whatsoever in persecuting law-abiding citizens. If you’re not committing offences while in possession of a blade, are always polite and reasonable, and follow the two rules above, you’ll be extremely unlikely to find difficulty.
Remember, just have a good, lawful excuse to carry it. Work? Perfect. Doing a bit of forestry? No prob. Gardening? Ideal. Self defence? NEVER!!!!!
I always carry my UKPK.m, both on and off duty. When I head to the woods, my knife is always on my belt, sometimes even breaking my rule for a trip to the shops. But I always clearly look like someone who is working rurally. I never worry.
Feel free to contact me with any other questions.
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Could not agree more, just use some common sense.
the vast majority of police officers are reasonable people who will listen to reasonable arguments.
If you come across the odd one that is not, hand over the knife, make a complaint and take it from there. Odds are their supervisor will give it you back.
I have hiked, travelled on public transport and camped all around the UK with sharps in my bag and never had an issue.
The one time I was stopped was in Scotland whilst wild camping. Bumped into a officer and he noticed a hatchet handle poking out the top of my pack. After explaining why I had an axe I was sent on my way no problem.
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