Knife Crime

With knife crime on the rise please see our article on knife crime

and how to stay safe,

The Facts

A knife is classed as an offensive weapon. The definition of an

offensive weapon is any article made or adapted for use to cause

injury to the person, or intended by the person having it with them

for such use by them or by some other person.

Offensive weapons include:

Something made to cause injury. The following are offensive weapons: a machete, a flick knife, a truncheon etc. These don’t really have an innocent intention. However, an ordinary razor or penknife may not be offensive weapons because they do have a day-to-day purpose;

Something adapted to cause injury for example, a bottle that has been deliberately broken or an unscrewed pool cue;

Something that is not made, or adapted, but is intended to be used for the

purpose of causing injury, for example a work hammer or a brick.

You can carry a knife in public if it has a folding blade that is 3 inches

(7.62cm) or less in length. However if any knife is used to threaten or

intimidate it is considered an offensive weapon.

Please note, lock knives are not classed as folding knives and are

illegal to carry in public.

It is illegal to sell knives to anyone under the age of 18. (Note that in

Scotland there is an exception allowing those that are 16 years old

or over to buy kitchen knives.)

The general ban includes any knife, knife blade, razor blade or axe and includes any other article which has a blade or which is sharply pointed and which is made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person.

It is an offence for any person who, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, has with him in any public place any offensive weapon. This means it is illegal to carry a knife in public without good reason (such as religious purposes).

Those found to have a knife in their possession can expect to face a prison sentence of up to four years.

It is against the law to use any knife (even those legally allowed to be carried in public) or offensive weapon in a threatening way.

If somebody has been fatally stabbed in your presence, you can be found guilty of that person's murder in 'joint enterprise' if:you are part of a group and someone in that group kills someone with a knife. This is also the same for any other weapon or physical attack; you were supporting the perpetrator's actions in some way. This could be verbally, through physical actions or you acted as a supportive presence. In short, your words, actions or presence created a supportive atmosphere for the attacker;you knew that the person who made the attack was going to initiate violence against the victim.

In some cases, you are able to avoid being prosecuted as part of a joint enterprise if you can prove you are not liable. This could be, but is not exhausted to proving you called the police, tried to prevent the attack or removed yourself from the group. You could also avoid prosecution if you had agreed some level of interaction with the victim and attacker but had no knowledge that the attacker planned to use a knife on the victim.

It is down to YOU to prove that you had good reason or lawful authority to be carrying such an article in a public place. Reasons are: - for use at work
- for religious reasons
- as part of any national costume
- an exhibition at gallery or museum
- theatre/ TV/ historical reenactments

Knives can be recycled at your local household waste recycling points. Before the knives are recycled they should be well wrapped in order to prevent causing harm.

Some knives are illegal under UK law to sell, hire, lend or give. These included but are not exclusive too:butterfly knives (a blade hidden inside a handle),disguised knives ( a blade or sharp point in what looks like an everyday item.),flick knives (automatic knives, a blade hidden that "shoots" open), Zombie knives (a knife with a cutting edge, typically with decorated with violent images or text.)

Keeping yourself safe

1) Remember your voice is one form of defence - use it! If you cannot avoid walking home alone - particularly in the dark, invest in a ‘Personal Alarm’. If someone threatens you ‘shout’ for help, and/or use your ‘alarm’.

2) Safety awareness is key to making ‘one’ feel more secure. Consider Self-Defence classes. Any age or gender can benefit…both for safety and health reasons

3) Conceal expensive jewellery when in public places.

4) Most people nowadays have a mobile ‘phone…’key in emergency services’ along with family/friends’ . Also carry some extra change or a telephone charge-card as added security.

5) Be alert! Walk with purpose and confidence.

6) Should you ever have the misfortune to experience a personal attack…use your ’personal alarm’…an umbrella, keys or whatever is immediately to hand to defend yourself. Always report to the Police…the attacker could already be wanted!

7) Endeavour to walk in the centre of the Pavement. Always keep away from secluded alleyways and buildings. If a vehicle pulls up next to you…never approach, but walk in the opposite direction.

8) If you suspect you are being followed ’call a member of family, a friend,us and/or the police’. Cross the street, head for an area where there are people, an open business premises or any public place.

9) When carrying a handbag, briefcase or any items such as a Laptop Computer…be prepared to ‘let go’ and ‘do not resist’ if someone attempts to rob you, but ’do’ shout for help. Physical safety is more important than replaceable items!

10) Avoid giving out your personal details to strangers, such as name, address and/or place of employment.

11) When walking in a public place…walk ‘facing’ the oncoming traffic. Try to keep hands free and out of pockets!

12) Using items with ‘earphones’ will stop you hearing possible trouble approaching.

13) Try to wait at a ‘Bus Stop’ in a well-lit area. When using Buses or Trains at night, get somebody to meet you!

14) When using a Taxi use a company known to you and ‘registered’.

15) Make sure you keep the name of the Taxi Company/telephone number of the company you have booked…when the taxi arrives, ask the driver their name and company! It’s also important to ask the driver - the name of the person he is expecting to collect?

16) Never accept a lift from an unlicensed mini-cab or stranger (if your cab fails to arrive, or at any time).

17) If you ever feel unsafe or threatened whilst travelling in a Taxi…ask the driver to pull over and get out where there are plenty of people.

18) Always plan your journey/route, avoiding short-cuts through unlit or secluded areas.

19) If you walk a route regularly, alone - try to vary, using known routes only!

20) Carrying large sums of money should be avoided, especially when alone. But, if it’s absolutely necessary divide/distribute into different parts of clothing - if possible ask someone to accompany you. Credit Cards should also be treated with care and kept discreet.

21) When using any form of Public Transport, try to sit near the driver and/or in busy carriages.

22) Again, when using Public Transport - take note of emergency alarms and exits! Use them in an emergency or if your personal safety is threatened!

23) Remember to keep keys in your pocket, not in a handbag or brief case.

24) After dark, have keys ready when nearing home to enter quickly

ICE - In Case of Emergency


Enter an "Ice" Contact into your mobile phone. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency, this contact will help Emergency Services contact an appropriate person for you should it ever be required.

For further information or support please contact us using our contacts page.

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