Update- Carrying of knives

widu13

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 9, 2008
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Ubique Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt
I've just read a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) memo dated 31/3/08 which has now been ratified and agreed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) that with immediate effect anyone found in possession of an offensive weapon, sharply pointed or bladed article will be CHARGED with the offence and be sent to court without the opportunity of a caution. The CPS have undertaken to vigorously prosecute "offenders".

I would urge you all to carefully consider your EDC and BOBs / kits in cars. Remember this is one of the few laws where the police/CPS don't have to prove anything beyond you had it with you; you have to prove (on the balance of probabilities) that you had good reason to carry with you.

It will had quite far ranging implications as this is a crime and will show on a CRB check if convicted. It WILL effect things like SGC/FACs.

I don't know whether or not this is the agreement for Scotland as well but certainly covers England and Wales.

"Be careful out there" (Hill St Blues circa 1980)
 

durulz

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Jun 9, 2008
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That's quite concerning.
I would still hope it would be applied with a modicum of common sense. Most of these laws and rulings are a knee-jerk reaction to chavs slicing each other up and, as such, will see most enforcement within towns and cities.
I would still hope (re: expect) that someone out in the woods with a knife is a 'good reason' and is self-evident that the person has committed no offence. I would even doubt the possibility of someone even getting stopped in a rural area (I live in a rural area and can't think of the last time I saw a police officer) so long as they didn't walk around the lanes with a knife/axe on show for someone to report.

To be honest, I'm still not too sure how the above ruling has changed anything. I thought it was ALWAYS illegal to have an offensive item without good cause. I suppose the extensyion to ANY bladed weapon (presumably the 'under 3" non-locking blade' clause has been now been removed?) - but then, I don't carry any kind of bladed item everyday - so it would make no difference to me. I'm sure that would not affect items required for carrying out one's business or trade - after all that's a 'good reason' and no one's going to keep arresting people for that with all the attendant paperwork/hassle just for the person to get off with it.
 

IntrepidStu

Settler
Apr 14, 2008
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Manchester
I've just read a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) memo dated 31/3/08 which has now been ratified and agreed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) that with immediate effect anyone found in possession of an offensive weapon, sharply pointed or bladed article will be CHARGED with the offence and be sent to court without the opportunity of a caution. The CPS have undertaken to vigorously prosecute "offenders".

I would urge you all to carefully consider your EDC and BOBs / kits in cars. Remember this is one of the few laws where the police/CPS don't have to prove anything beyond you had it with you; you have to prove (on the balance of probabilities) that you had good reason to carry with you.

It will had quite far ranging implications as this is a crime and will show on a CRB check if convicted. It WILL effect things like SGC/FACs.

I don't know whether or not this is the agreement for Scotland as well but certainly covers England and Wales.

"Be careful out there" (Hill St Blues circa 1980)

Interesting, but has the LAW actualy CHANGED. An agreement between the CPS and ACPO does not constitute a change in the law. They can arrest you all day long, but if you have broken no law (i.e you may carry a non locking blade less than 3 inches), then you will be back out on the streets in no time.
 

bushcraftbob

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Jun 1, 2007
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This is worrying. I had my small axe in the boot of my car yesterday, as I took it round my parents to sharpen up using the vice in their shed, what would have happened if I had been stopped routinely by the police?

Needless to say the axe is still blunt, really need to improve my sharpening technique :(
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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I do carry a Victorinox Swiss Army knife with me all the time - and probably use it every day. I have done for nearly 30 years! I would not carry it into a nightclub or into a football match and it's probably asking for an argument if it was visible in a town pub as well these days.

The law hasn't changed as far as I can make out (i.e. <3" blade OK). I think we just have to be sensible. My problem is that I am so used to wearing it on my belt that I am likely to forget it's there. The last time I flew anywhere I only remembered last second and dropped it into the main luggage.
 

tommy the cat

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Feb 6, 2007
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Indeed worrying!
I carry my sharps 100yds to where I park my van and then off to woods with permission. I usually stash them in a back pack but it does make you wonder how I would come off.
My mates a copper will have to see how he would react if he saw a beardie wierdy with army gear on carrying a plethora of sharps!
Dave
 

Wallenstein

Settler
Feb 14, 2008
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Warwickshire, UK
Even a sub-3in blade can count as an offensive weapon if that's what the police decide.

It'd be up to a judge to agree or disagree, but you can still be charged even with a small non-locking knife.
 

Cap'n Badger

Maker
Jul 18, 2006
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Port o' Cardiff
:yikes: Great!......It just gets better eh?...tsk!
I've had three 'legal' knives taken from me by the peelers in the last year...Not been arrested yet tho...Apparently....even if you ARE returnin' from work dressed in Cardiff Council Parks uniform......they won't belive 'Gardeners' use knives fer prunin', openin' compost bags or gettin' thorns from under the skin...:dunno:...
God forbid they catch me loadin' the van t' go t' the moots!.....10 years at least:D :D
 

durulz

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what would have happened if I had been stopped routinely by the police?
How often do you get stopped 'routinely' by the Police? I have NEVER been stopped 'routinely' by the Police, and I don't know anyone who has. I have been stopped for speeding, but they never searched me or my car.
The Police only have a habit of stopping suspicious-looking people routinely.
I know you didn't mean it as such, but I just wanted to head off any 'Police state' comments - we are a LONG way from that.
 

durulz

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My mates a copper will have to see how he would react if he saw a beardie wierdy with army gear on carrying a plethora of sharps!
Dave
Surely you've answered it yourself - if you don't want to attract unwanted attention then change the 'army gear' look. Or be more discrete.
 

myotis

Full Member
Apr 28, 2008
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Somerset, UK.
:yikes: Great!......It just gets better eh?...tsk!
I've had three 'legal' knives taken from me by the peelers in the last year...Not been arrested yet tho...Apparently....even if you ARE returnin' from work dressed in Cardiff Council Parks uniform......they won't belive 'Gardeners' use knives fer prunin', openin' compost bags or gettin' thorns from under the skin...:dunno:... :D
I would be really interested to know the circumstances behind this.

How did they find out you were carrying a knife in the first place?

As you say the knives were legal do you really mean non-locking less than 3in folders?

What were the excuses given by the police for taking them off you, and what did they say. ie if part of your gardeners toolkit , they should remain with your other tools and not be on your person.

Thanks,

Graham
 
Interesting, but has the LAW actualy CHANGED..
Exactly - guidance is one thing but unless there is an actual change in the law you still have the sub 3" slipjoint exemption and the 'reasonable cause' defence.
If you are happy that your reason for carrying a sharp is legitimate, then you should be free to do so as before. Many of these 'memo's' are more politically motivated than intended to implement any real policy change.

:yikes: Great!......It just gets better eh?...tsk!
I've had three 'legal' knives taken from me by the peelers in the last year...
Surely someone releiving you of legal items against your will is theft?

Thing to remember is context - Context is everything in these circumstances and the reaction you can expect to receive from a copper finding a SAK in a hikers backpack will be very different to a copper finding a SAK gaffa-taped to the end of a pole and used for spear-fishing in the local boating lake on a sunny sunday afternoon.
 

Simon

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Jul 22, 2004
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Addington, Surrey
I don't think there's anything to be up in arms about here .. ;)

The only difference here is that you are now unlikely to get offered a caution if caught with a knife and it is perceived that you don't have good reason or that you might be carrying the knife for the purpose of a weapon.

Good thing I think.

I travel all round London through the major stations and have done for the vast majority of my working life (nearly 30 years). I nearly always have a knife on me because it's a useful tool in my job. I've never been stopped and I think that the chances of me ever being searched are quite slim (last time I was searched I was 15 years old and had an orange spikey hair and bondage trousers on).

Cap.

If you had it with you for work as a gardener then you had "good reason" and probably didn't have to, or shouldn't have, relinquished the knives. It's not for the police to decide what is good reason and if tested they would have probably backed down because they probably know the law well enough (hopefully better than the sergeant on Watchdog the other day).

Edit to add. i've also walked passed a number of those metal detector arches at various stations. Unless you're a teenager wearing a hoody, you won't be asked to walk through them.
 

BorderReiver

Full Member
Mar 31, 2004
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Norfolk U.K.
:yikes: Great!......It just gets better eh?...tsk!
I've had three 'legal' knives taken from me by the peelers in the last year...Not been arrested yet tho...Apparently....even if you ARE returnin' from work dressed in Cardiff Council Parks uniform......they won't belive 'Gardeners' use knives fer prunin', openin' compost bags or gettin' thorns from under the skin...:dunno:...
God forbid they catch me loadin' the van t' go t' the moots!.....10 years at least:D :D
As has been mentioned, context is everything.

A 12 inch Bowie knife is legal if you have good reason to have it on your person.

Going home from work, with just the knife and not the rest of your tools, does not constitute a good reason in law.

We just have to be sensible and let common sense keep us out of trouble. The police and the courts have an almost impossible task of keeping the "casual violence" knife off the streets. If we are occasionally inconvenienced then that's just unfortunate.
 

Draven

Native
Jul 8, 2006
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Scotland
I'm planning on getting the train or bus to Skye in early april, wonder how much hassle they'd give me for having my leuku, mora, carving knife, folder and axe on me... I despair at a world where guilt is assumed if a copper (who, let's face it, is only human and therefore subject to snap judgements, poor judgement, bad moods, coffee withdrawal and a case of having a stick up ones... you get the idea) doesn't consider your reason adequate.

I reckon that in addition to these laws (which will have more of a negative impact on responsible, decent people than criminals IMO) there should be the opportunity to apply for a knife license, which would allow people to carry a specific knife (for example, I'd carry my tidioute :D ) without fear of having it taken away by overzealous or just petty cops. Obviously issuing such a license would be subject to circumstances. Even if I had to give them DNA and fingerprints, it would be well worth it. As it stands, the blade on my Tidioute is about 1/8" longer than 3" if measured from the bolster, or 1/8" shorter if measured from the start of the cutting edge to point. It's ridiculous, IMO, that I could be busted for a knife which would never be bought to use as a weapon. SWMBO bought me it, I can't risk losing it but I want to be able to use it! :(
 

BorderReiver

Full Member
Mar 31, 2004
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Norfolk U.K.
Draven, the train is run by a private company which may have it's own rules regarding sharps.

It might be an idea to write to the company and ask what their policy is and how they would like you to pack your tools when using their trains.

That would save you any risk of losing your gear.

It's a pain to have this sort of hastle but that's how things are. We have to work round the restrictions as best we can.:(
 

widu13

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 9, 2008
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Ubique Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt
Don't get ahead of yourselves peeps, Simon has this down as it it. The only thing that has changed is a robust charging standard. All previous exemptions and "excuses" remain. I put this up as there are some people on here who insist on carrying lockers as an EDC- just in case. They are the sort of people who now will be charged.

This law applies to anything "bladed or sharply pointed"

Having a sharp in the car for a reason is okay. Carrying one in a BOB or similar just in case is not.